I have besmirched the honour of Phonak in the past several times, moaning about their rather simplistic smartphone remote control apps. While they offer basic function, they have never given real power to consumers. I now have to apologise, with the new myPhonak App upgrade, Phonak have outdone themselves. They have integrated the hearing diary and the remote support function, all your needs in one place, but more than that, they now offer consumers real power over their hearing aids if they want to grasp the nettle. Let's talk.
As I said, they have now integrated everything you need into one simple app. You can switch between the different elements such as the remote control, hearing diary or remote support by simply clicking on the menu bar on the top right of the screen.
More Power, More Functionality
This is really the part that I am excited about, the remote control feature now offers so much more power and it allows you to save personal settings as new programmes. In the image above, you can see a great overview of the app. To the left is the simple remote functionality we are used to. There is a new icon added on the bottom right called settings.
Some programs may offer further adjustment possibilities. When those adjustments are available to you, they can be accessed by pressing the Settings icon.
Remote Control settings
The settings view gives you access to the following functionality:
- • Modifier presets
- • Gain control for bass, middle and treble frequencies
- • Volume control
- • Noise reduction and Speech focus
- • Dynamic control
These new functions allow you to change the feature set of Marvel hearing aids on the go, to help you customise what you are hearing in a more granular way. Power like this truly allows you to customise your hearing aids to your needs. That has to be seen as a good thing.
When you have finished your changes, you can save a new scenario. You can save your customised settings by giving them a name. These custom scenarios will be added to the program list for easy recall.
While this extra control might not be for everyone, I am sure there are many consumers out there who will welcome them. In my experience, even consumers who are unsure of app features like these, soon get the hang of them and come to like the power that is offered.
Consumer Changes Feeding Better Hearing Aids
I believe that eventually, the changes that consumers make in their apps will feed into the design of better hearing aids. Widex has already charged ahead in this field with its cloud-based machine learning technology. I would imagine that most of the other hearing aid brands are working out how they can do it too.
The Hearing Diary
I think the hearing diary part of the app is another excellent feature for both consumers and professionals alike. It allows you to give feedback in relation to your hearing aids and their function in a simple way. Your feedback goes back to the hearing care professional who is working with you so that they understand how you are getting on. More importantly, it notifies them of the problems that you are having.
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