Manufacturers News: The Hearing Journal

NEW NONPROFIT RESOURCE WORKS TO BRING PROFESSIONALS AND PATIENTS TOGETHER

The Ida Institute launched “Partnering for Great Hearing Care,” a resource created with the goal of helping hearing care professionals and people with hearing loss form productive partnerships. This free, animated, and interactive resource—available on the institute’s website—focuses on conversations between a person with hearing loss, Peter, and his audiologist, Sara, showing how these two groups can work with each other based on four building blocks:

  • Build trust.
  • Connect as people.
  • Be active partners.
  • Invite family and friends.

The guide also features videos of actual appointments that demonstrate strong hearing care relationships, and users can download a summary of practical tips and click on links to more resources. The resource can be sent to clients before appointments, used to train students in person-centered care, or accessed by audiologists to refresh their knowledge.

FIRST PATIENT TREATED WITH ACOU085 FROM ACOUSIA THERAPEUTICS

The lead drug candidate from German-based Acousia Therapeutics, ACOU085, has been given to the first patient with age-related hearing loss in a Phase 1b clinical study. The candidate is proprietary, small-molecule, and otoprotective, and it regulates a well-defined molecular target expressed preferentially in the outer hair cells (OHCs). ACOU085’s singular mode of action involves triggering acute enhancement of hearing and offering long-term preservation of the OHCs, which have permanently lost the ability to rapidly increase in numbers. Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices granted the company a clinical trial agreement last December for this study’s implementation.

“I am extremely proud that our hypothesis-driven, scientific work is now moving into the clinical stage only six years after initiating a full-fledged de novo drug development program on a novel, highly innovative drug target,” said Acousia cofounder Hubert Löwenheim.

STARKEY EXCLUSIVE HEALTH HEARING PARTNER FOR 2022 SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Hearing aid manufacturer Starkey served as the sole global supplier of hearing instruments for the Healthy Athletes Healthy Hearing program at the 2022 Special Olympics, which was held from June 5-12 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The role continued the partnership formed with Special Olympics International earlier this year, which pledged to broaden access to hearing health services for people with intellectual disabilities around the world.

Starkey, at this year’s games, gave hearing screenings, recommendations for follow-up, and education about the importance of regular screenings for Healthy Hearing participants. Healthy Hearing is one of eight disciplines that make up the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program, which provides health services to people in need in more than 130 countries. Starkey and Special Olympics International have given athletes more than 2,700 hearing screenings and almost 500 fitted hearing instruments to date.

OTICON MORE FAMILY GAINS TWO NEW MEMBERS

Two miniature, behind-the-ear (miniBTE) hearing aids from Oticon’s Oticon More line—the R and the T—are now available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies, allowing more options to veterans with hearing loss. The products come in rechargeable or non-rechargeable styles and are equipped with Made for iPhone connectivity, which enables users to conduct hands-free conversations through the hearing aids’ microphones.

The lithium-ion batteries of the miniBTE R have a 24-hour life, streaming included, after three-and-a-half hours of charging with the usual desktop charger or optional, portable smart charger. The miniBTE T runs on disposable, zinc air batteries and has an LED light. Both styles feature a double-push button and telecoil.

“The Polaris platform is the backbone of Oticon More, offering more speed, precision, and capacity to help even more veterans enjoy a life full of sound,” said Mike Marcinek, vice president and general manager of Oticon Government Services. “We continue our commitment to BrainHearing by expanding the potential of Polaris to a broader portfolio of Oticon More solutions, all designed to provide access to the full sound scene to allow the brain to work in a more natural way.”

TRUHEARING SURVEY FINDS GREAT EMPLOYEE INTEREST IN HEARING BENEFITS

According to a recent survey conducted by TruHearing, a hearing health care benefits company, 94% of surveyed people agree that employers offering hearing benefits in their overall employee benefits package is at least somewhat important. Fifty-three percent said it is important or very important. With more attention being paid to general wellness, many companies are instituting wellness programs, rather than hearing health benefits. Even though 42% of the general population of employees report hearing loss, only one-quarter of them are offered hearing aid coverage by their employer.

“So many companies are completely unaware of the high number of people dealing with hearing loss, even within their own office,” said Tommy Macdonald, CEO, TruHearing. “It’s become quite clear that it isn’t just retirees that are affected. In addition to older employees, hearing benefits are clearly desired by younger employees too, who are even more likely to be seeking affordable treatment options.”

TruHearing’s survey included 600 US full- and part-time employees ages 25-64.

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