App previewed for internet-connected hearing aid
March 27, 2018
Danish hearing aid provider Oticon previewed its HearingFitness app at this month’s Wearables Show in London. The hearing fitness tracking technology is for use with the firm’s Opn internet-connected hearing aids.
The app is the start of data-driven hearing care. It gives insights into the daily use of Opn hearing aids and lets users constantly optimise their product to specific, individual and changing needs and sound environments to fulfil their hearing potential in different situations.
HearingFitness is designed to help people with hearing loss understand how their behaviour and hearing health habits can influence how effective their hearing aid is and the impact it has on their overall health and well-being. For example, the app encourages users to wear their hearing aids more, which helps those with hearing loss benefit from the many positive health improvements that come from wearing hearing aids.
Wearing Opn hearing aids lets users enjoy sound and social interaction, both of which stimulate the brain and ultimately help reduce the common side effects associated with untreated hearing loss, such as fatigue, withdrawal and stress. Addressing hearing loss effectively in mid-life by wearing hearing aids may even reduce the risk of early on-set dementia. In a recent study by the Lancet, hearing loss was listed as the largest modifiable risk factor contributing to dementia.
Future developments for the app will include the ability to adapt and improve the user’s hearing constantly over time. Ultimately, HearingFitness will be able to help provide better speech understanding and comfort for people with hearing loss and, in turn, free more and more cognitive energy to be used for other tasks, such as memory recall.
“HearingFitness provides Opn hearing aid users with advice and encouragement on ways to use their hearing aid more, hear better and ultimately stay healthy,” said Michael Porsbo, product manager of Oticon. “The first of its kind, this new app is designed to empower a digital generation of hearing aid users to make informed personal treatment decisions and take control of their hearing and health.”
At the show, the company demonstrated how people with hearing loss can use the IFTTT network and Opn internet-connected hearing aids to create smart IoT applets, enabling them to connect several IoT smart devices and services.
Around 500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. Most are over the age of 50 while eight per cent are under the age of 18. Headquartered out of Denmark, the company is part of William Demant Holding Group with more than 12,000 employees and revenues of over DKK12bn.