Technology is developing into smarter, more powerful, and smaller devices. Taking up less space while having more functionality is the overall trend.
So it’s no surprise that hearing aids are no different. Though hearing issues have a number of causes, hearing problems are more prevalent amongst older individuals, and the world’s population is getting older. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 37.5 million individuals and 3 million Canadians report having difficulty hearing, and because age is a better predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number is likely to go up.
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Are there any better ways to manage hearing loss? Let’s have them! Innovations are happening, here are some.
Complete-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This one seems as if it should be obvious. Health and fitness trackers need to be worn on the body. So, if you already have a device that’s in your ear… do you actually need a separate one on your wrist? Nope! Or at least, you don’t with some of the newest hearing aids, which along with helping correct for hearing difficulties such as tinnitus, will also keep track of your pulse, your physical activity, and a whole lot more. Certainly, a wearable such as an Apple Watch can do that, but hearing aids can give you other types of input that can be helpful to tracking health, like how much time you spend having conversations or listening. How much social involvement you get can actually be an important health metric, especially as you get older.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Connectivity is the important watchword, as virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have advanced from smartphones to in-home devices without missing a beat. Some hearing aids that have Bluetooth capabilities now allow users to stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for example, to the hearing aids. Android developers now have open-source specifications supplied by Google which allows them to use specific Bluetooth channels to stream continuous audio straight to your hearing aid. This technology is making things like movies and music more enjoyable by acting like super-powered wireless headphones.
Big Data Allows Smart Adjustments
Similar to how Netflix suggests shows and movies according to what you’ve watched previously, or your Fitbit buzzes to let you know you’ve reached a milestone (or okay, let’s say stepping stone, depending on how ambitious your everyday step goals are), your next hearing aid may make personalized recommendations. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being manufactured by a few companies, to learn your habits. Some push it even further, crowdsourcing data on how individuals use their hearing aids anonymizing and then aggregating the data. All this information allows the hearing aids to figure out your tendencies and make adjustments on the fly so that if you’re at home watching TV or you’re at an IMAX theater (for example), you’ll get the best possible sound.
Getting Rid of The Batteries Once And For All
Hearing aids that don’t require their batteries replaced? Sound too good to be true? After all, making sure you’ve got spare batteries on hand, or even making time to recharge your hearing aid batteries, can be annoying. While a hearing aid that doesn’t use any batteries at all might seem like wishful thinking, rechargeable battery technology keeps improving. You’ll get quicker charging time, longer use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.