Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Washington, DC, July 23.

National Church Residences, Columbus, OH, September, 2019

AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, Oct 23, 2019

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2018-2019 look back and ahead at tech buzz, hope, and hype

Who can resist reflection when a year ends and 2019 begins? So much racket, so much of it driven by writers desperate for something to write about – and we’re not talking about the news. Lots of  negative tech energy in 2018, including healthcare data breaches, Facebook’s loss of trust, ditto with Google and its much discussed anti-competitive positioning in search. The visibility of Facebook management issues and Google competitive quagmire may actually be good for consumers.  So what was interesting in 2018 that was great news, possibly intriguing or just plain worth noting prior to CES 2019, which will present a cornucopia (or maybe just a plethora) of new tech and tech news? [Warning, more blog posts about CES next week while there].  A few topics that stood out:

Recapping the most-read blog posts from 2018

Fewer software platforms, but new and more interesting offerings.  Two major changes happened in 2018 that are having and will continue to help older adults. First there is the significant uptake of voice-enabled technology, was forecast to be transformative, and so it was, in senior living, in the homes and families of seniors, and as an interface in newer cars to make giving and hearing directions easier.  Not so newsworthy, but perhaps more important, the hearing technology industry and audiologist specialty were disrupted in favor of self-service and offerings at a significantly lower cost.

Aging in Place Technology – Five Blog Posts from June 2018

n a short month, heard lots about caregiving and hearing.  You have 'conversed' with an older person who cannot hear well without hearing aids but owns an expensive pair which are highly adjustable. But they don't put them in, or lost one of them and not replaced it, even though the VA will pay for it. These individuals may ask you a question, but they don’t wait for an answer they can’t hear well. And so they go on – talking about themselves  and assuming that’s fine at your end of the 'dialogue'   They have families who become irritated with them; they spend a great deal of time alone.  Then one day, they become part of an equation – those with hearing loss are at greater risk of developing dementia.   Sigh.  Here are four blog posts from June:

Now Hear This: Hearing-related technology for older adults and caregivers

Uncorrected hearing loss isolates and harms older adults.   One in three between age 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of people aged 75+ have some significant level of hearing loss.  Note that hearing loss has been linked to dementia and to social isolation – and that in turn has been connected to poorer health outcomes.  Furthermore, wearing hearing aids has been linked to fewer hospital visits. According to studies, among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in five (20 percent) has ever used them. Why such a small percentage? Experts believe that it is a combination of denial, belief that hearing loss is not severe enough, perceived stigma associated with wearing hearing aids, and a perception that they cost too much.

Narrowing the price gap between hearing aids and PSAPs

The hearing aid industry offers pricey hearing aids for people with ‘defined’ hearing loss.  The FDA wants you to understand that it regulates hearing aids – which it defines as helping the medical condition of hearing loss. The FDA then observes “sound amplifiers for consumers with no hearing loss who want to make environmental sounds louder for recreational use.“ Recreational ? Hearing aids that they do regulate are now made by a small number of companies and are sold with audiologist services for $1000 up to $4000 per device – most people need two – and have a lifespan of up to 7 years.   That price includes a hearing test, fitting, initial batteries and more.

Etymotic’s “BEAN®” Personal Sound Amplifier Ushers In A New Era of Affordable Hearing Help For Seniors

05/23/2018
lk Grove Village, IL – May 23, 2018 — Since the invention of the first electronic product in 1920 intended to help people with severe-to-profound hearing loss, hearing aids gradually evolved from a large box on the table to the first body-worn device and later to head-worn designs suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
 
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HIA Leads in Hearing Healthcare at Annual Meeting

03/21/2018

WASHINGTON, DC, March 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hearing Industries Association (HIA) held its 2018 annual meeting in Washington D.C. March 19-20. As the trusted voice on hearing healthcare, HIA addressed patient safety and education, delivery care, innovation and public policy at the meeting themed “Hearing Forward 2020.” HIA members, partners and guests received insight and updates on topics including collaborating with government rule-making agencies, digital health technologies, advances in telemedicine, and aging in America.

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CES 2018: Five Technologies Useful for Older Adults

CES 2018 is off to a noisy, rainy and motion-filled start.  The Intel dancing drones, the Aptiv Self-Driving rides, Google’s soaked outdoor booth ("Alexa, make it rain"?) and Amazon somewhat smaller-scale "magical experiences." It virtually never rains in Las Vegas – and hasn’t for 121 days – but there’s the video of the downpour -- and Google employees bailing out the booth. The big headline for CES is the battle of the voice assistants for the smart home – which includes Samsung’s Bixby – go ahead, talk to your TV and refrigerator -- as well as Alexa, Google, and Microsoft's Cortana.  

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