Learn about the latest advancements in Hearing Aid Technology
Hearing aids have seen significant technological improvements over the last decade. Hearing aids are comprised of a microphone, a processor, a receiver and a power source, and it is within these components that the increases in technology have been made. As the automation of hearing aids grows and digital advancement improves, the price points have also increased, as well as the benefits. While basic hearing aids are still available, a patient may be interested in purchasing a more advanced hearing device. Below are a few of the most prominent enhancements that are featured in the advanced hearing aids.
Artificial intelligence generally refers to reproduction of human intelligence that is designed to think like humans and can mimic basic tasks that humans can perform. In hearing aids, AI algorithms analyze a wearer’s environment, identifying sounds and the distinction in people’s voices. It automatically adjusts the audio based on the wearer’s level of hearing loss and any preselected preferences, which reduces the need for manual adjustments throughout the day. In addition, AI and machine learning reduces the need for programming updates or adjustments.
Bluetooth hearing aids have a wireless feature that enables the wearer to connect their hearing aid to their mobile phone or other devices that use Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, the wearer hears clearer sound with less signal-to-noise ratio and microphone feedback. A wearer can also play audio from a computer, smartphone, stereo or TV.
And speaking of smartphones…advanced hearing aids also have smartphone apps that enable the wearer to make volume adjustments and save those adjustments to use at a later time, contact their hearing care provider, convert text to speech, translate other languages and monitor battery life. Apps can also be programmed to mask the ringing sounds that come from tinnitus.
Slips and falls are always a concern as one begins to age. Newer-high tech hearing aids can alleviate that fear by noticing if the wearer has fallen and then wirelessly connect the wearer’s smartphone to 911 or text preselected contacts. For the feature to work, the hearing aid must be near the smartphone it’s paired with.
Improved Directionality of Sound
For wearers who have a hearing aid in both ears, advanced hearing aids can detect the direction the sound is coming from and reduce lesser sounds from other directions, enabling the wearer to hear better.
Is your patient counting their steps or looking to lose weight? Like a smartwatch, advanced hearing aids can track the wearer’s movement and their heart rate and shares that information with your smartphone.
This feature eliminates the need for a hearing aid wearer to have to swap out button batteries multiple times per month. Advanced hearing aids contain rechargeable batteries that can last 24 hours.
These technological advances are just the beginning. Like computers and smartphones, hearing aids will continue to improve and provide better features for its users. Learn more about hearing aid advances and other emerging hearing healthcare technology at Empower.