hearingOS can be fully customized, is offered as an affordable monthly subscription, requires no battery change and works with your existing iPhone,Apple Earbuds and AirPods.
Hear the crashing of the waves, or any other sound the world has to offer.
What did you say ? Can you repeat that ? All phrases of the past.
Hear everything clearly
-hearingOS will support your hearing. Whether young or old, you can benefit from smart algorithms that process and improve external audio for your ears.
Works with Wireless & Wired Earphones
-Supports almost all headphones that can be connected through Bluetooth or a Cable.
Adjusts to your ears
-Move the coloured dots around on the slider and instantly notice the difference. Every person and every situation is different.
Hearing loss background
Hearing loss is a significant global indication; in fact, there are currently 360M people worldwide suffering from hearing loss (United Nations,2015). However, only 10 % are being served by hearing aids (WHO). As hearing loss is at present not curable, i.e. there are no alternative treatments options to hearing aids this presents a significant gap in treatment coverage. As 1/3 of people above the age of 65 have hearing loss, the problem will increase significantly with an ageing population. With the Population, aged 60 and above expected to grow by 56% to 1.4 B by 2050 (United Nations,2015) hearing loss will affect close to half a billion people worldwide by 2050.
While the global scale of the problem is astonishing, the individual impact of leaving hearing loss untreated is significant and tragic. Non-treatment of hearing loss poses many risks that can contribute to declining health and is linked to social isolation, tripling dementia risk, depression, tripling the risk of falling, and inability to work or travel(Whitehouse,2015)(Seliger,2012).
The reasons for the low adoption rate of hearing aids are multi-faceted, complex and vary on a country by country basis. There is a social, technological as well as an economic component contributing. Socially, hearing aids are stigmatised.
The economic factors contributing are related to the high costs of hearing aids. With an average selling price of $ 2,400 (Pollack 2016) per ear in the United States, the price is cost prohibitive for many patients who are typically older and hence no longer have a monthly income. Additionally, hearing aids cannot be procured directly as their setup is time-consuming and complicated. Hence, the patient has to see a doctor, audiologist as well as a hearing aid retailer. This value chain contributes significantly to the high ASP of hearing aids as well as adding a barrier for patients. It is hence not possible for patients to try out a solution within the confines of their home. As the average deductible in the US has risen 67% to $ 1,071 since 2010 (Palosky,2015) patients will consider a visit to a clinic.
Technologically, hearing aids suffer from a low powered computational environment. Due to the nature of the environment being an embedded chipset that is battery powered, complex computations such as running modern neural networks are not feasible (Liu,2017). Additionally, hearing aids require an elaborate setup by a trained audiologist or hearing aid vendor.
As outlined above, hearing aid penetration is low due to several reasons. Paradoxically, very little research is being done into potential solutions that alleviate this issue, i.e. treating the currently underserved 90%. In fact, there are multiple issues at play. The underserved nature of the indication and the fact that those patients that acquire a hearing aid get it 7-10 years too late (i.e. potential damage has been done) (Seliger,2016). One such potential pathway is using the Smartphone that most consumers in developed and increasingly many in developing countries have already purchased as an alternative treatment option. Smartphone penetration is approximately inverse to hearing aid penetration, i.e. 90% of consumers have a smartphone. Increasingly The fact that consumers have already purchased the device for other reasons means that the cost of the device can be shared across a range of use-cases(Schweitzer,2012). As smartphones have a microphone, come packaged with headphones (wireless or wired), and a potent CPU means that they are technically able to emulate hearing aid functionality. The powerful Smartphone processors can be used to run complex machine learning models to improve speech intelligibility, reduce background noise, adjust to the specific setting and more. Embedded chipsets as they can be found in traditional hearing aids are unable to run these models due to computational and power constraints.