Announced today, William Demant (the owners of the Oticon and Bernafon brands among others) say that they may enter the OTC hearing aid market. In an article by Reuters it was stated that CEO Soren Nielsen told Reuters "should sales of products like these become substantial ... we will produce some as well,"
The First Hearing Aid Brand To Respond
William Demant is the first mainstream hearing aid brand to make any comment on the introduction of OTCs and possible market activity. In essence, Soren Nielson said that they would keep a watching brief and respond accordingly based on market size and outlook.
Could All The Big Hearing Aid Manufacturers Do Likewise
I would expect if one manufacturer enters the OTC market, or in fact if they even look like they may be entering the market, then all of the big six will follow. In fairness though, they nearly all have responsibility to their shareholders. So if the market for OTC hearing aids explodes, they will all need to respond to it. The outlook for the market appears to be generally pretty good. There certainly seems to be a lot of interest in the States in relation to the devices.
When Can You Expect Them?
While the legislation will pass, there will still be some time before we see OTC devices appear. Regulation will need to be put in place and that could take up to three years. Although, it is expected to be expedited and there are some that expect to see OTC hearing aids available next year.
Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling 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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