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iHear To Launch Subscription Based Hearing Aids



Changing how you buy hearing aids

How you buy hearing aids hasn't really changed since the beginning. Some hearing aid professionals have moved towards a more transparent sales model with unbundling, but generally, most offer bundled prices. Consumers, in general, aren't happy with that, mostly because of a lack of both transparency and understanding. It all means that the business model of hearing aids is ripe for disruption. It appears that iHEAR Medical has clear ideas about how they are going to do just that. They recently announced plans to launch subscription plans which they say are “designed to make advanced hearing technology more affordable and accessible for the millions of Americans suffering from untreated hearing loss”.

iHear hearing aid

A subscription model

Consumers are used to and familiar with the subscription model. Think Netflix, most professional type software, cell phones. It appears iHear considers that familiarity and acceptance mean that consumers won't baulk at it when buying hearing aids. According to the company press release, their patented hearing aid technology will allow consumers to subscribe to advanced hearing aids and optional wireless services on a pay-as-you-go model or at a low monthly fee.

That's an interesting concept and I think it will be the first model of this type in the hearing aid sector. They say that the subscription hearing solutions will offer consumers the ability to personalize their hearing experience to suit their budget and individual needs.

“iHEAR’s patented service model lowers the entry point and saves consumers money by providing opportunities to subscribe to a combination of devices and services that addresses individual hearing needs and budget. Consumers will have the flexibility to adjust their subscription as their needs change.” —John Luna, CEO of iHEAR Medical

The company says that it will launch its subscription service in conjunction with mobile apps for wireless programming of its next-generation hearing device. They say that the devices will feature Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, which will enable consumers to connect and interact with smart devices in their environment. 

iHEAR says that the new subscription devices and services will be offered through the company’s web-based platform. They say that they will provide end-to-end solutions from home hearing screening to self-programming and interestingly, remote professional support of hearing devices.

A changing world

I think that this is just one example of the changing world we are entering. Hearing aids on a subscription will make sense to some. However, it might not make sense to everyone, some will still be happy to use the traditional type payment model. You can be sure though, that this won't be the only interesting change to how hearing aids are purchased in the next few years.

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