Personal hearing aid software

I previously wrote about how letting hearing aid wearers program their own aids would be good thing. To briefly recap: I think that giving us wearers a simplified version of the software that audiologists use to program digital hearing aids to an individual’s requirements would allow us to get maximum benefit from our aids.

A comment from David made me realise I’d missed a few important things in that article and got me thinking some more….

One application to rule them all

As far as I am aware, the current situation is that each hearing aid manufacturer has their own software that an audiologist will use to adjust settings for their aids only. Having numerous different applications to use has many problems:

  • The patient’s audiogram has to be loaded into each piece of software individually. In some cases, I have seen my audiologist enter it manually. This wastes time and there’s the possibility that the audiogram details may be entered incorrectly.
  • The audiologist has to learn how to use all the different applications.
  • Some applications may have specific features that the audiologist really likes and they’d like to be able to use them when fitting any aid brand.
  • Each application has their own helpline. More number to remember and the audiologist may find themselves repeating the same problem to multiple helpline operators.

So, I’d really like to see an open standard for digital hearing aid connectivity and programming. If manufacturers collaborated on this they could save themselves time and money on software development, make audiologists lives easier AND produce a simplified version of the software for aid wearers.

I’d could go on and on here about how joint development and open standards could make better hearing aid software but this isn’t a software development blog so I’ll stop it there!