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BIHIMA Conference 2018, Talking About The Future of Hearing Aids

I am attending the BIHIMA Conference in the UK today and tomorrow and will be reporting as we go. The conference is an exploration of the possible futures within hearing aids. First up is Futurologist, Dr James Bellini. 

In essence, disruption and computing power is going to exponentially change during this generation.Many of the innovative technologies we see today will have an effect on healthcare delivery. More and more consumer patients will choose virtual consultations, they will look for connected health, they will concentrate on well being and preventative healthcare as opposed to reactive healthcare.

Big Innovations in Hearing Care

Big data will drive innovation in hearing care. Big data analytics will give evidence and insights which will lead to predictive anaalytics that will change treatment strategies and prevention strategies. Telecare will be a large part of all future healthcare. The future for hearing aids is sensor rich, multi-purpose hearable devices.

Beyond that, stem cell innovation may lead to a future with devices, a future where hearing loss is treated with targeted genetic treatment. 

EuroTrak 2018

Next up will be an introduction to EuroTrak 2018. EuroTrak is a European survey for people with hearing loss. The data generated is used to understand the changing needs of users and how we can meet their requirements.Hearing loss appears to be static, no major increases or decreases. Adoption rates of hearing devices is 48% in the UK, with only Denmark having a higher adoption rate. 

Hearing aid adoption has increased within the mild and moderate hearing loss in the UK, with 30% of people with mild loss using hearing aids and 50% in the moderate. First time users say that their hearing aids work as expected or better. Overall satisfaction with hearing aids is 74% in the UK, but satisfaction rate correalates with wear time, the longer they wear them, the happier they are. 

Breaking into workshops

Over the two days there will be workshops from all of the hearing aid brands involved in the conference, the first one I attended was with Oliver Townend from Widex on machine learning and the basis of their strategy in the new Evoke. It really does look like an interesting development and we will cover it later on these pages

Onto the Eurotrak workshops which will discuss the findings in a little more detail and consider what they mean for actual professional practice. Some interesting insights here and again, I plan to dig deeper into the EuroTrak data at a later stage and write about the findings.

Now onto the Bridget Shields Report 2018: The consequences and costs of untreated hearing loss. In essence, hearing loss is increasing in prevalence across Europe and the hidden costs of hearing loss are thought to top 500 Billion Euro. It is also cleaar that hearing loss affects many aspects of life, including

  • Mental and physical health
  • Quality of life
  • Employment and lifetime earnings

In particular the concern about hearing loss in middle age as a clear risk factor for dementia has risen.

Curtis Alcock is on now with a presentation called: Will hearing technology ever remove the need for the hearing care professional.

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Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling

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Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him

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