When Science and Data Meet Paradise

Jo-El M. Grossman

Phonak Content and Communications Manager

09 November 2020

Today’s patients are living in a socially and technologically complex world. They likely need to move seamlessly between listening environments and between connected devices. Hearing aids should support a patient in maintaining a good social network, which is an important element of well-being.

According to Kevin Seitz-Paquette, Au.D., Director of the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) in Aurora, Illinois, as the global audiology thought leader in the industry, Phonak follows the data to bring new and innovative products and features to hearing care professionals and their patients. “Phonak Paradise™ offers new and updated features that will bring unrivaled sound quality to you and your patients,” he added.

Seitz-Paquette shares how science and data went into to developing Phonak Audéo™ Paradise, and what patients with hearing loss can expect from the latest hearing technology from Phonak.

Following the data

According to Seitz-Paquette, Phonak follows a rigorous process when developing new technology. “Any new technology, including Paradise, is evaluated many times as the concept is developed and refined,” he said.

Data is generated in three primary ways:

  1. In technical measures,
  2. In human-based laboratory tests, and
  3. In more ecologically valid human trials.

“These phases of testing each tell us something different,” he added. “We learn how the new technology behaves on a purely objective level, how it benefits patients in tightly controlled environments, and finally, how it benefits patients in unpredictable (but realistic) environments.”

New hardware behind Paradise

The Processing Real-Time Intelligent Sound Management, or PRISM™, chip is the innovation that makes Paradise possible. The PRISM chip is the new platform that powers all of the new features of Paradise.

“PRISM doubles the memory of our previous chip and offers enhanced connectivity,” said Seitz-Paquette. “In addition to the PRISM chip, Paradise also features an onboard motion sensor.”

This ultra-low power tri-axial accelerometer supports new connectivity and hearing performance features. The sensor has an industry-leading balance of high performance and low power consumption.

Important advancements to the gain model

“Fitting rationales and gain models don’t always get the attention of other hearing aid features,” said Seitz-Paquette. “In fact, I suspect that most hearing care professionals, if asked to list a few hearing aid features, would not mention either the fitting rationale or gain behavior. That’s understandable! If you asked me to list the features of my car, I wouldn’t tell you that it has an engine.”

However, that doesn’t mean that improvements made to the gain model of a hearing aid are not important advancements. APD (short for Adaptive Phonak Digital) 2.0 now has three innovations:

  1. Linearized high-level gain for natural sound quality and better speech intelligibility for loud speech-in-noise,
  2. Adaptive compression speeds for more dynamic range and reduced perceived reverberation, and
  3. A new pre-calculation for mild to moderate hearing loss for a comfortable first fit.

Blending the right combination of sound processing features

It’s easy for those with normal hearing to take for granted all of the things our ears and brain do for us as we move through different acoustic scenes. When someone has hearing loss and is using hearing aids, it’s up to the hearing aid to make the transition from one acoustic scene to the next as easy as possible.

AutoSense OS™ is the onboard system Phonak hearing aids use to classify the environment and orchestrate the hearing performance features. “With Paradise, AutoSense OS 4.0 takes this system to the next level,” said Seitz-Paquette. “It will continue to offer all of the features available on previous products, like Phonak Marvel™, while adding three important new innovations: Motion Sensor Hearing, Dynamic Noise Cancellation and Speech Enhancer.”

He added, “Phonak Paradise was designed to be able to keep up with patients as their needs change throughout the day and across their lifespan. Research — both at PARC and around the world — has demonstrated the benefit of Paradise’s innovations.”

Click here for more information on Phonak Paradise.