Benefits of hearing aids
The Chalfont hearing Centre is a premier independent hearing company based in Little Chalfont Bucks. Leon Cox, the lead audiologist is here to help you diagnose your hearing symptoms along with other hearing issues such as possible ear wax blocking the ear canal. Ear wax can be easily dealt with by Micro-suction that gently hoovers out the ear wax cleanly and quickly.
If you need hearing aids
Hearing aids won’t make your hearing perfect, but they make sounds louder and clearer, reducing the impact hearing loss has on your life.
Hearing aids can:
- help you hear everyday sounds such as the doorbell and phone
- improve your ability to hear speech
- make you feel more confident when talking to people and make it easier for you to follow conversations in different environments
- help you to enjoy listening to music and the TV, at a volume that’s comfortable for those around you
But hearing aids only help if you still have some hearing left, so don’t put off getting help if your hearing is getting worse.
To book your appointment at the Chalfont hearing centre please call reception and speak with our receptionist.
Hearing test Bucks
Hearing test Bucks at the Chalfont Hearing Centre.
Hearing test Bucks at the Chalfont Hearing Centre. We all need good hearing and that’s just a fact. Imagine not being able to hear the door bell, or hear your new grand child as they talk to you wanting to find out about Gran or Grandad. There are so many ways we need hearing in our daily life. Just talking to someone without lip reading your way through the conversation hoping to catch what they are saying so you can respond correctly. It can be stressful not being included in what is going on around you.
To book a hearing tests in Bucks click here
Chalfont hearing can help, we are specialist hearing care practitioners with many years in the hear care business. Leon cox is a specialist in ear wax removal and dispensing hearing aids after the comprehensive hearing test known to man kind in Buckinghamshire. If your ears are clear of wax and after the hearing test Leon will sit with you and explain carefully what he has found regards your hearing. He will show you on a screen the test results so you are in complete control of your next move.
With knowledge of the hearing results Leon will then guide you on what hearing aid or aids are best suited to your hearing needs. It maybe after the hearing test you don’t actually need hearing aids. Knowledge is a good thing either way. Just like eye examinations, hearing tests are just as much needed when you reach a certain age. If you think you may benefit from a hearing test then please book an appointment and call reception or use the Contact form here to make a booking.
To book your free hearing test click here
Hearing aids available Bucks
Hearing aids available Chesham
Hearing aids available in Chesham by Oticon hearing
Hearing aids available Chesham at the Chalfont hearing centre. A new style of hearing aid is now available for the younger generation. Made by Oticon. OPN Play. These hearing aids are available at specialist children’s centres who cater for children hearing loss. Many people suffer from hearing loss and we at the Chalfont hearing centre do cater for the older generation. We also conduct hearing tests and remove ear wax by appointment. Digital hearing tests are available again by appointment. The new Oticon Opn Play are designed for children only.
Ear wax removal Buckinghamshire
Once we conduct a full spectrum hearing test we will go through the results with you to determine what hearing loss you may have and if any what type of remedy we can offer. This maybe through hearing aids or ear wax removal.
Hearing aids available Amersham
Chalfont Hearing News:
Oticon Introduces Opn Play
Oticon announces Opn Play™, a new child-friendly hearing solution, is said to “improve speech understanding in simple and complex listening environments and provides access to multiple speakers, without reducing environmental sounds important to incidental learning and safety.” The new Velox S™platform fuels Opn Play to provide children with the best possible conditions to grow, thrive, live, and learn, according to the company.
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According to pediatric best practice guidelines, it is crucial to give children as much of the auditory environment as possible, in particular speech, to create the best opportunities for learning and language development.* Opn Play featuring OpenSound Navigator™ (OSN) helps accommodate best practice by delivering the “optimal signal-to-noise ratio across varying listening environments to constantly optimize learning opportunities.” Unlike traditional omnidirectional and directional approaches, OSN reportedly gives children the best of both worlds—“always open” access to a balanced soundscape that helps support the natural way the brain makes sense of sound, even in difficult listening environments.
A study at Boys Town National Research Hospital with children ages 6-15 reported that OSN offered an average of 4 dB SNR improvement in speech recognition (up to 30%) whether the child faced the speaker directly or faced away. The same study found that OSN preserves competing speech to allow access to multiple talkers, supporting incidental learning for children.
“Young children naturally learn a tremendous amount from overhearing or incidental listening, but children with hearing loss have fewer opportunities to learn by overhearing, especially when they are not looking directly at the talker,” said Maureen Doty Tomasula, AuD, senior product & marketing manager, Oticon Pediatrics. “The ability of OpenSound Navigator to preserve speech coming from different locations allows access to other talkers in the background, which is fundamental to incidental learning in school-age children.”
In a separate study of listening effort for children, researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam found that OSN improves speech understanding by up to 5 dB SNR with less perceived effort compared to traditional omnidirectional technology.**
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Powered by the new Velox S platform, Opn Play reportedly analyzes sound at 56,000 times/second to give children access to speech details with “more natural sound and increased comfort,” according to Oticon. OpenSound Optimizer™, a new technology in Opn Play, uses “ultra-fast” detectors and a patented breaker signal to proactively manage feedback, even before it occurs. Hearing care professionals can now fit children with up to 6 dB more gain, helping to allow more stable gain for closed fittings and more open fittings. This helps enable Opn Play to provide the brain with up to 25% more speech cues, without the risk of feedback.*** The new technology helps ensure stable access to speech details to support better language development and is said to allow children to play, hug, interact, and wear hats and helmets without feedback.
Easy Connectivity at School and Home
Opn Play offers compatibility with existing classroom solutions. A new option—Opn Play plus Oticon ConnectClip—can enhance incidental listening and communication between parents and children with hearing loss, especially when there is distance or noise present, such as when riding in the car, at the playground, or in a stroller. ConnectClip helps make it easy for children to stay connected to the most important speakers in their lives, parents, friends, teachers, and coaches. Opn Play is Made for iPhone® and connects with smartphones, laptops and other Bluetooth®-enabled devices.
Chalfont ear syringing
The Opn Play miniRITE R offers a rechargeable lithium-ion solution in a “discreet design,” helping to eliminate the hassle of handling and replacing batteries every few days. The charger features a stable magnetic connection and is said to deliver a full day of power, including streaming, with an overnight charge.
The Oticon Opn Play family is available in fitting ranges from mild to severe across all styles and in an array of kid-friendly colors. For more information about the entire Oticon Opn Play family, visit: www.oticon.com/opn-play.
* American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Clinical Practice Guidelines Pediatric Amplification June 2013
** Ng E, Goverts T, et al. (2019). Oticon Whitepaper.
*** Speech Intelligibility Index. ANSI S3.5.
Hearing and Depression link
New report into depression and hearing has been published. We at the Chalfont hearing centre are well aware of this link and can help with making your hearing a little better.
Bucks hearing and Ear wax removal centre
Bucks hearing and Ear wax removal centre is at the Chalfont hearing centre the independent hearing and ear wax specialist covering Chalfont, Amersham and Henley. If you are having issues with hearing in general we can conduct a hearing test at one of our centres either in Chalfont or Henley. The comprehensive hearing test will take around an hour of your time, but the results will be know there and then putting you in control of your hearing. We can then discuss what hearing instrument (hearing aid) you may need if required. There could be other issues at play if you are not hearing as well as you think you should be. We can before the test look to see if you have any ear wax present. Ear wax isn’t usually an issue, we all need a little for good ear health. However in some cases excessive ear wax build up can become an issue and if you have excessive ear wax we will clear this before any test is conducted.
Ear wax removal Chesham Bucks
Ear wax removal is very easy and painless. We use the Microsuction ear wax removal method as this really is the gold standard of ear wax removal. We also can use the older method of ear wax removal called irrigation or some may know this as ear syringing. This method uses warm water to gently irrigate the ear to help release the ear wax out from the ear.
So if you are having some hearing issues and would like afamily run professional ear wax removal service then book an appointment. We can discuss at the appointment any of the issues at length. After all we are all ears!
Ear wax removal Bucks
Chalfont hearing News:
Bringing world wide news on hearing to our local area.
Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire
Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire at the Chalfont Hearing Centre. We pride ourselves on being at the vanguard of hearing technology here at the Chalfont hearing centre. Leon Cox the lead audiologist is a first class audiologist who keeps up today with the new tech that comes out constantly. Today we are looking at the recently announced Phonak Marvel. For those who don’t know what this product is here is a sample from their Press release.
”In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.
Hearing aids Bucks
According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls”.
Sounds good? We think so and we are pleased that Phonak has won a prestigious award saying that they agree too. If this Phonak product sounds like something you may like more info on then please let us know and we could arrange an appointment to see if this would be right for you.
See the rest of the info on the Phonak Marvel product bellow.
Chalfont hearing News:
Phonak Marvel Wins Silver Edison Award for Hearing Aid Design Technology
Phonak Marvel, said to be “the world’s first hearing aid” to combine clear sound quality with universal “made for all” Bluetooth connectivity, received a Silver Award in the hearing aid design technology category at the Edison Awards gala in New York City, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Alva Edison, recognizes and honors innovators and innovations.
In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.
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According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls.
All nominations were reviewed by the Edison Awards Steering Committee and the final ballot sent to an independent judging panel. The judging panel was comprised of more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing, and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.
Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire
For more information on the 2019 Edison Awards, please visit: www.edisonawards.com. Applications for the 2020 awards will open in August 2019.
Source: Phonak, Edison Awards
Ear wax removal Bucks
Ear wax removal Bucks is available at the Chalfont hearing centre. If you are suffering from excessive wax build up in the ear or ears we can come to your aid. Using Micro-Suction or the traditional irrigation technique, (some call it ear syringing), it only take a few mins to painlessly remove excess ear wax. Please click here to see how Micro-Suction works from our sister site in Henley.
If you live in the Chalfont area then contact us for Ear wax removal near Little Chalfont Bucks.
Chalfont hearing centre also conduct lots of other ear related issues such as hearing tests, dispensing the very latest digital hearing aids along with hearing aid servicing and setting up of new hearing aids after you purchase them. If you need any of our services please book by calling reception.
Chalfont hearing centre News:
Philips Hearing Aids Introduced by Demant
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In August, Demant announced a licensing agreement with Philips, which is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, to bring Philips-branded solutions to the hearing healthcare market. Demant (formerly William Demant Holding) is the parent group of Oticon, Sonic, and Bernafon hearing aids, as well as Oticon Medical.
Ear wax removal Chalfont, Bucks
“Based on a shared vision of improving the lives of people through innovative healthcare this new cooperation will not only change the way we see hearing healthcare, but also widen the definition of hearing healthcare, supporting healthier lifestyles and active aging,” said Spencer Ramsey, Senior Director of Brand Licensing, Philips, in the press statement. “Combining Demant’s world-leading hearing aid technology with Philips’ global brand presence in healthcare, the cooperation will enrich the hearing healthcare experience.”
The new premium Philips hearing aids—named Philips HearLink—are now available for hearing care professionals in selected countries. The look and feel of the Philips HearLink hearing aids is designed to cater to today’s baby boomer generation with design and usability developed for this expanding market. Philips HearLink users will benefit from connectivity between their hearing aids and the devices they use in their everyday life, such as smartphones and televisions. The hearing aids will reportedly be manufactured by Demant using the Velox-S and Velox platforms, and will be available in a complete range of styles, including RICs, BTEs, ITCs, CICs, and IITs.
“The Philips hearing aids will provide users with an innovative, future-proof hearing solution,” says Demant President & CEO Søren Nielsen. “We live in an age where user engagement and digital services are shaping the future of healthcare technology. More and more people are conscious of taking control of their own personal healthcare and are using electronic devices to do so. In this light, Philips Hearing Solutions offers new and exciting premium solutions alongside Philips’ healthcare ecosytem, which will attract interest and generate significant benefits to users, ultimately supporting our valued customer base of hearing care professionals.
Chalfont ear wax removal
“With this partnership, we take connected hearing healthcare to the next level and offer new and exciting solutions within integrated healthcare services to the benefit of both professionals and people suffering from a hearing loss,” continued Nielsen. “Health, caring, and innovation are cornerstones in the vision of both Demant and Philips, which makes the partnership a great match for the future. Furthermore, it will strengthen and add value to both companies’ ambition to improve people’s lives.”
The Philips brand is something of a “back to the future moment” for more seasoned dispensing professionals. Philips was a well-known hearing aid brand in the 1990s, and the company embarked on a technical collaboration with Telex then exited the market just before the turn of the new century when Beltone purchased Philips’ hearing aid technology. The Hearing Review published numerous news and technical articles about Philips technology in the 90s.
Traditionally, hearing aid branding has not played a large role in hearing healthcare; MarkeTrak 9 suggested that less than half of hearing aid users (43%) could identify the brand of their device. However, many experts in the industry believe this is due to change, as more consumers are expected to enter the market and there is continued competition and aggressive marketing among dispensing chains, pharmacies, mass merchandisers, and online retailers. The Philips brand brings with it one of the world’s best known and trusted healthcare and consumer electronics brands.
For further information about Philips Hearing Solutions and a full presentation of the Philips HearLink product range, visit: hearingsolutions.philips.com
Chalfont ear wax removal
Chalfont ear wax removal conducted at the Chalfont Hearing Centre. If you are experiencing excessive ear wax or are having issues with your ears being blocked we can help. We are a fully accredited and regulated ear wax removal centre for the whole of Bucks. Using Microsuction to remove excessive ear wax is painless and very quick. If you prefer the older technique of ear wax removal using water irrigation (ear syringing), we can do that too!
Click here to see how we use Microsuction.
Please call reception to make a booking of either ear wax removal or other services at the Chalfont Hearing Centre.
Chalfont ear wax removal
If you are in the Henley area then the Henley hearing clinic is the place to get your ear wax removed. Sitting between High Wycombe and Reading, Henley hearing serves perfectly for those who are in the South of Buckinghamshire county. Henley hearing also dispenses the very latest in digital hearing aids and conducts hearing tests. This really is a non stop hearing centre just like The Chalfont hearing centre.
Chalfont hearing clinic News:
BIHIMA Round Table Event Focused on Connection Between Hearing Loss and Dementia
A cross-sector summit was held last month, bringing together experts to discuss the connection between hearing loss as a risk factor in developing dementia, as well as highlighting the preventative role of hearing technology. The round table event was convened by the British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) on February 28, 2019 at the Royal College of General Practitioners in London, BIHIMA announced.
A series of podcasts of the event’s discussion has been created in order to spread greater understanding, available for download here.
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The event united audiologists, research scientists, and representatives from the media and charity sectors, to share knowledge and develop strategies to get the crucial message out into the public arena, so the proven link between the two conditions is taken seriously by individuals and policymakers.
There is growing evidence of the connection between the two conditions, including a Lancet study which showed that midlife hearing loss may account for up to 9.1% of preventable dementia cases worldwide and is a modifiable risk factor in developing the condition1. Dr Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez, co-author of the study, attended the Round Table.
There is less research, however, into the mitigating benefits of hearing aids. A University of Manchester study2 showed the rate of age-related cognitive decline is 75% less following the adoption of hearing devices. Co-author of this study, Dr Asri Maharani, shared details of these findings on the day. Further studies are now underway but this remains an undeveloped area, and so last month’s forum called publicly for further trials.
The panel also called on policymakers to make this area a funding priority. As new data emerges which proves the impact of hearing aids in preventing dementia, this will provide greater economic argument for making hearing technology more available to those at risk of cognitive decline.
Chalfont ear wax removal
“The better we understand cognitive decline and why hearing aid use helps, the better we can design intervention,” said Dr Helene Amieva, author of the 25-year study, “Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated with Self-reported Hearing Problems.”3
The panel also strongly recommended a cross-sector approach, whereby hearing loss is understood as part of a wider discussion which links with both neuroscience and social issues around isolation and wellbeing in the aging population.
“Dementia is a condition which affects 47 million people globally and is fast becoming a social care crisis. There is no time to waste in understanding the role of hearing technology which could stem the tide of the disease, and in educating people about looking after both their hearing and cognitive health,” said the BIHIMA Chairman, Paul Surridge.
BIHIMA PANEL ATTENDEES:
Paul Surridge, BIHIMA Chairman
Helene Amieva, PhD, author of: “Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated with Self-reported Hearing Problems: A 25-Year Study,” Inserm, University of Bordeaux
Dr Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez, co-author of the study: “Dementia prevention, intervention and care,” The Lancet, University College London
Tony Gunnell, audiologist (BIHIMA representative)
Peter Kunzmann, head of research and policy, Action on Hearing Loss
Dr Asri Maharani, co-author of the study: ‘Longitudinal Relationship Between Hearing Aid Use and Cognitive Function in Older Americans’, University of Manchester
Source: BIHIMA, The Lancet, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, The Journals of Gerontology
Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet. 2017;390(10113):P2673-2734.
Maharani A, Dawes P, Nazroo J, Tampubolon G, Pendleton N. Longitudinal relationship between hearing aid use and cognitive function in older Americans. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2018;66(6):1130-1136.
Amieva H, Ouvrard C, Meillon C, Rullier L, Dartigues J-F. Death, depression, disability, and dementia associated with self-reported hearing problems: A 25-year study. The Journals of Gerontology. 2018;73(10):1383-1389.
New hearing aid batteries Chalfont
New hearing aid batteries in Chalfont. If you are in need of replacement hearing aid batteries and are close to our Chalfont hearing centre then please pop in and take away your new hearing aid batteries, or if you are further afield we can post them out on the same day.
Hearing aid batteries come in all shapes and sizes and we stock most if not all for all the most common manufacturers.
At the Chalfont hearing centre we also conduct ear wax removal using Microsuction and the tradition ear syringing method using water. It’s not really ear syringing but water irrigation, call reception to book you appointment.
Chalfont hearing Centre news:
Varta to Unveil Power One Evolution at 2019 AAA Show
The significance of the quality of a tailor-made power supply is emphasized by Stiftung Warentest, a German consumer test organization. In the current test, VARTA Microbattery GmbH—a company supplying retail and OEM batteries for electronics companies—announced that it came out on top among the 14 hearing aid batteries tested in the “most important types,” 312 and 10.
“The test winner rating has motivated us to intensify our research efforts to develop an even better product,” said Torsten Schmerer, general manager, healthcare, at VARTA Microbattery GmbH.
The result of these efforts is the power one EVOLUTION. The newly developed product as well as the test-winning batteries and the full range of batteries and rechargeable batteries were showcased on March 22-23, 2019 at the 41st Congrès des Audioprothésistes in the Palais des Congrès de Paris (UNSAF). They will also be showcased on March 27-29, 2019 at the Congress of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) in Columbus, USA, Stand 630.
New Hearing aid batteries Chalfont Bucks
According to VARTA Microbattery, it has developed the power one EVOLUTION in response to the needs of consumers who require reliable batteries with longer operating times. The power one EVOLUTION zinc-air battery is based on the Thin Foil Technology (TFT) and is said to be characterized by a “very high energy density.” Moreover, its capacity is said to be even higher than that of the tried-and-tested hearing aid batteries by VARTA Microbattery, resulting in a longer service life. The service life of the type 312 is reportedly up to 15% longer. The company says that field tests have shown that “nine out of ten customers would recommend the battery because of the significantly longer operating times.”
Hearing aid batteries Chalfont
“The limited space in hearing aids is the reason why the power supply can only be increased by improving the technology of the hearing aid. Our expertise is based on the synergy of extensive material research, many years of experience in cell development, and our own production equipment technology,” said Schmerer.
More detailed information on the power one products is available at the fair stands or online at: www.powerone-batteries.com.
Source: Varta Microbattery
New hearing aids Chalfont, Bucks
New hearing aids in Bucks at the Chalfont hearing centre. We are used to new hearing aids arriving from various manufacturers all year round, but when something is really new and exciting we love to tell you and our existing clients why we are so excited.
Hearing aids have evolved in recent years. Digital hearing aids have made the devices so small and powerful they are no longer what people expect to see. The huge hearing aid of old is getting less visible these days, the new as powerful hearing aids are now tiny. If you are looking for new hearing aids in Bucks, we are the place for you!
New hearing aids Buckinghamshire
The tech inside these little wonders are amazing on so many levels. Take one of the many things they can do. They can connect to your mobile phone and you can talk wirelessly without the phone in your hand as if you were talking to a person next to you. The hearing aid is catching your voice and transmitting this to your phone via bluetooth. You can hear perfectly as your hearing aid is in your ear so you don’t have to really listen hard to get what the conversation is. It’s all done without you doing anything. This tech isn’t new, it has been around for some years, but if your hearing aids are not ”Connected” versions, then maybe when you are next due a new set of hearing aids, you can ask to be told of what’s new in this ”Connected” world.
Bucks hearing aid centre
Leon Cox the lead audiologist at Chalfont hearing will be happy to show you and explain all about what is new and on offer. He will also show you how you connect your new digital hearing aid with various tech such as mobile phones, iPads, and the T.V.
Make your appointment with Leon now by calling reception.
Chalfont hearing news:
Semtech and Sonova Launch Jointly-Developed Radio System
Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq: SMTC), a supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, and Sonova, a developer of hearing care solutions, announced a jointly developed advanced radio system. The ultra-small integrated circuit (IC) is said to be a main component for a new generation of hearing aids, enabling support for multiple radio protocols in the 2.4GHz band, as well as effective operation on very low power, according to the announcement.
New hearing aids Bucks
“This chip allows Sonova to move in a new direction with our hearing aids,” said Marc Secall, director, research & development, wireless, at Sonova. “The breakthrough radio technology and power management are the game changers for hearing aids. It allows them to support a number of applications that have previously not been possible in a hearing aid, all at low power consumption and low supply voltage. Possible applications span from connectivity to any Bluetooth®-enabled audio device (eg, a smartphone or television) to full duplex audio streaming between hearing aids and connectivity to wireless microphones.”
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“Semtech continues to innovate and create flexible, reliable solutions for challenging applications associated with the best radio frequency connectivity at the lowest power and 0.8V supply voltage,” said Jean-Paul Bardyn, vice president of research and development of Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group. “Sonova has long been a leader for hearing devices. By implementing Semtech’s technology and enabling access to the Cloud, we believe that these devices will enrich the IoT-connected solutions which Semtech is serving with LoRa Technology.”
Source: Semtech, Sonova
Images: Semtech, Sononva
Starkey hearing aids, Little Chalfont
We sell and dispense all types of hearing aids at the Chalfont hearing centre. One of the big guns is Starkey. Recently they announced a new innovation for their Live Ai hearing aids. It now comes with fall detection, meaning it will detect if you have a fall and if you are paired with your phone it will message up to 3 contacts that you have specified before hand.
Read the full press statement bellow for more info, or if you are interested in knowing more please pop in or make an appointment so we can walk you through the new hearing aid and it’s features.
Chalfont hearing news:
Starkey Releases World’s First Hearing Aid with Fall Detection and Alerts to Livio AI Users
Starkey Hearing Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn, has released its new Fall Detection and Alert feature in Livio AI hearing aids to a limited number of hearing professionals, and plans to offer the feature to all dispensing professionals and their clients in late February, according to CTO Achin Bhowmik, PhD, in an interview with Hearing Review on Tuesday, December 18. Using integrated sensors, the Fall Detection and Alert feature is designed to automatically detect falls and send messages to as many as three contacts.
Fall detection sensors are currently implemented in all Livio AI devices as part of its standard hardware platform, and Starkey has been working on the Fall Alert feature to maximize its utility for end users prior to the system’s widespread implementation.
Falls are a massive public health problem, particularly for older adults. It’s estimated that injuries due to falls will account for $67.7 billion in public health spending by 2020, and according to the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) falls are currently responsible for an older adult being admitted to a US emergency room every 11 seconds. Additionally, people with hearing loss are particularly susceptible to falls. A Johns Hopkins study suggests that having hearing loss triples the risk of falls for people age 40 and older—and the findings hold up regardless of whether their hearing loss is moderate or severe.
How Starkey Fall Detection and Alerts work. Starkey’s new Fall Detection system is said to have several benefits over existing stand-alone medical alert systems, which are typically attached to a lanyard around the neck. “The first key advantage is that a hearing aid is almost always in your ear during your active hours, making for one less thing to carry or remember. One of the major problems with medical alert systems is getting people to wear them,” says Bhowmik. “Second, we have two fall detection sensors [in binaural fittings] for the right side and the left side, whereas most fall detection systems have only one. And the way the two sensors are spaced apart and the way in which you hold your head, we can get better and more accurate results than neck-worn sensors designed to detect falls.”
According to Bhowmik, part of Starkey’s recent research has revolved around what constitutes an actual fall as opposed false-positives such as quick downward movements or even accidentally dropping the hearing aid. “If you take the hearing aid off your ear and drop it on the ground, you will not get a false-positive for falling with Livio AI,” says Bhowmik. “We have been working on [eliminating false-positives] for over a year. A good AI system is only as good as the data you train the system with. In this particular case, if the left hearing aid detects a fall, it immediately checks with the right hearing aid to see if the data matches what would indicate a fall for the system. Unless it detects a fall from the hearing aids in tandem for both the right and left sides of the head, the device will eliminate those non-fall events and false-positives.”
The hearing care professional will be able to activate Fall Detection and Alerts through an easy-to-use interface within the fitting software for Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids. The user can then enter the Auto Alert contacts—up to three people who are to be alerted in the event of a fall within the Thrive Hearing App. When a fall is detected by the system, an audio prompt asks the user if they have fallen. He or she then has 60 seconds to provide an Event Cancellation and stop the outgoing Fall Alert messages from being sent to their designated contacts. If the hearing aid user has fallen and elects to send the Fall Alert message to his/her contacts, they receive confirmation when each contact has been successfully reached.
The system also allows for a Manual Alert which can be activated by simply pressing the hearing aid button, sending an alert for a fall or non-fall related event. “Maybe you didn’t fall, but instead just felt dizzy or were otherwise forced to sit down on the floor,” explains Bhowmik. “Obviously, this is not a fall. But you can still use the Manual Alert to get help when you need it. By tapping a button, you can send an automatic alert to your contacts, telling them you need assistance.”
This is just another step in the direction of making the hearing aid a multi-purpose, multi-functional device, according to Starkey.
To learn more about Starkey’s Livio AI you can visit: https://www.starkey.com/hearing-aids/technologies/livio-artificial-intelligence-hearing-aids