Posted by - For Consumers, General, PSAPs.

Hearables are about to hit retirement homes, thanks to an ambitious new initiative its creators call Hearables for All. Spearheaded by the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, the 12-month-program will let hearing-impaired elders try out the latest Internet and smartphone-enabled personal sound amplification (PSAPs) devices. Read more

Posted by - Hearing Aids.

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016, sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would allow certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter and would eliminate the “burdensome requirement” that consumers get a medical evaluation or sign a medical waiver before purchasing OTC hearing aids. The Act would also require the FDA to issue regulations containing safety and labeling requirements for OTC hearing aids and to update its draft guidance on Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). The senators said they would introduce the legislation when Congress reconvenes before the end of the year. Read more

Posted by - Hearables.

With the introduction of its new wireless Jabra Elite Sport earbuds, the GN Group is starting to make good on its promise to cross-fertilize technologies between its headsets and hearing aids. Touted in this week’s announcement as “the most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds,” the Elite Sport earbuds feature stereo music, an in-ear heart-rate monitor, fitness analysis software, voice-activated Bluetooth phone calls, and automatic switching to the earbud with the least background noise. Designed for high-intensity workouts, they are impervious to sweat, waterproof for 30 minutes at a depth of three feet (IP67 rated), and work with Jabra’s Sport Life App to provide in-ear fitness-performance reporting (using heart rate and VO2 Max data). Read more

Posted by - Hearables.

The Bragi Dash is one of the most talked about in-ear wearables (aka "hearables") to ever to hit the market. After raising over 3 million dollars through an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter (in early 2014), Munich-based Bragi went on to raise 22 million dollars in venture capital from a group of unidentified global investors (in Nov. 2015). In the most simple terms possible, the Dash can be described as a rechargeable wireless earphone that has the capability to store and play music files, stream bluetooth audio, track fitness stats (heart rate, step counter, etc), and provide two-way communication with a smartphone. Read more

Posted by - PSAPs.

Is Apple secretly planning to launch an Apple-branded hearing aid? According to Apple Insider, there is fresh speculation that Apple is planning to sell "accessibility products" directly to consumers (via online and retail outlets) "sometime in early 2016." Details are still unclear, but Apple Insider and Ubergizmo have both speculated that Apple may be planning to sell Made for iPhone hearing aids along with other products, like Braille displays. Read more

Posted by - Hearing Providers.

The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) applauds the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) for its focus on using technology to remove barriers to care for the millions of Americans with hearing loss. ADA members are audiologists who have spent their professional lives evaluating, managing and treating patients with hearing and balance disorders. ADA is cognizant of the significant health implications of untreated hearing and balance disorders, and ADA wholeheartedly agrees that hearing loss is a public health issue that requires prompt attention. Read more

Posted by - General.

In October 2015, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) delivered Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, which targets America’s worsening hearing loss epidemic. The report proposes a number of regulatory changes, at the level of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which PCAST believes will “decrease the cost of hearing aids, spur technology innovation, and increase consumer choice options.” Read more

Posted by - For Consumers, Regulation.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met on September 18th to discuss hearing aids and hearing technology. The discussion was led by Dr. Christine Cassel, MD, a leading expert in geriatric medicine, who suggested that “technology-based changes in Federal regulations … could make this [Personal Sound Amplification Product] technology more available and begin to promote more innovation in the market.” Here is a short snippet from Dr. Cassel’s professional bio, over at the National Quality Forum. Read more