The Future of the Hearing Aid Industry: From Neurodegeneration to Hearables

Hearing technology is advancing faster than it ever has in the history of amplification. Hearing aids are converging with consumer electronics with their integration of made-for-iPhone technology, while audio wearables or “hearables” are taking on features normally only found in hearing aids. Novel hearing devices and fitting methods are being developed that enhance the capabilities of hearing healthcare professionals, while other hearing devices and fitting methods are being developed to try to eliminate the professional from the distribution channel. Diagnostics and outcome measures are also being developed that will redefine patient needs and help better understand the benefit that new technology provides hearing aid wearers. Each of these technological and scientific advances has implications for people with hearing impairment and for those who treat them. This talk will provide a perspective on how all of these developments will shape the future of hearing technology, hearing healthcare professionals, and the lives of people with hearing impairment.

Learning Objectives:
Attendees of this presentation will be able to:
1. Explain how the audiogram is insufficient for understanding patient needs and predicting performance with hearing aid technology.
2. Describe how smartphone apps can help with fitting hearing aids.
3. Explain how cognition is a new outcome measure for hearing aid users.