“My business has a deeply personal aspect for me: I have a progressive, genetic hearing loss. In addition to wearing powerful hearing aids (I was fitted with my first aid at age 12), I lip-read and use captioning in order to communicate effectively with others.”
Consumer electronics companies are turning their attention to hearing issues… As Nancy M. Williams concludes in Auditory Insight’s Q2 2021 research note, “By creating dialogue on noise levels, Apple is nudging consumers to consider their hearing health far more often and comprehensively than ever before.”
“In a sense, you can say the OTC revolution is happening without the FDA, but the difficulty is it is happening more slowly than if the FDA issued its rules on time,” opined Nancy Williams, president of Auditory Insight.
Rather than using a hearing aid and potentially be subjected to some social stigma, those with some moderate hearing loss could rely upon the hearing amplification features of AirPods according to a study.
Auditory Insight president Nancy M. Williams was the lead author of a study that looked at how hearing tests can best engage users. “You want to interact with a test that will explain your hearing loss in real-world conditions, in real-world terms,” she said.
Auditory Insight has released new research showing that despite booming consumer interest in online hearing testing, none of the leading tests consistently use best practices to encourage patients to pursue treatment with hearing aids.
In an article published on the MedCity News website, Nancy Williams, president of Auditory Insight, discusses how the new rules for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids will affect the largest hearing aid companies.
Olive Devices plans to debut the FreeBell for between $300 and $500, a pittance for a Swiss Army Knife device in an expensive and constricted market. This, Williams says, could easily disrupt the stagnant hearing aid market.
“Instead of undergoing CI surgery, many patients contrive a workaround of hearing aids, lipreading, captioning apps, and sign language. But often they still struggle to hear,” explains Nancy M. Williams, president of Auditory Insight. “We wanted to understand patient barriers to cochlear implantation.”
“The proposed rule should ensure that OTC hearing aids can perform well for not only people with mild hearing loss, but also for those with moderate loss. The potential market for OTC hearing aids would apply to the majority of people with hearing difficulties,” asserts Nancy M. Williams, president of Auditory Insight.
With an expected FDA ruling creating a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, treatment may become significantly more affordable for many. Auditory Insight’s market analysis shows that stigma may be among the greatest barriers to overcome regarding consumer hearing aid adoption, currently at 15%.
“Traditional hearing aids use algorithms to amplify speech signals, but do not provide a noise cancellation mode,” explains Nancy M. Williams, president of Auditory Insight. “However, we believe that as consumers become more engaged in their hearing health, they will view on-demand protection to be as important as amplification.”
“Online hearing tests are the gateway to care,” says Nancy M. Williams, lead study author and Auditory Insight president. “They have tremendous potential to shorten the lifecycle for treatment and increase patient satisfaction.”