Australian researchers have invented a small, smart, self-managed hearing aid that outperforms most conventional hearing aids for less than half the price.
It uses technology first developed for Australia’s bionic ear, and is so simple to set up that most users can buy one over the internet and fit it themselves.
That brings the cost down to between $1,000 and $1,500, or less than $3,000 for a pair.
The user can then easily fine-tune it and even switch the settings to suit the home, work, or the pub.
The new technology was launched in Melbourne in April 2011 by the inventor of one of its core technologies, Dr Peter Blamey, founder of Blamey & Saunders Hearing (formerly Australia Hears) and Deputy Director of the Bionic Ear Institute.
The new hearing aids are the culmination of nearly 12 years of research and development supported at key stages by the Australian government.
They use digital technology that allows the user to boost or reduce key frequencies so that all the important sound frequencies for hearing are at a comfortable level.
“This is the hearing aid for the iTunes generation. It’s small, smart and it works,” says Blamey & Saunders Hearing co-founder and audiologist Elaine Saunders.
“We have a generation of middle-aged Australians whose quality of life has already
been affected by hearing loss due to loud music or occupational noise,” she says. “You may not think you need a hearing aid, but ask your partner or friends.”
PHOTO: SARAH BELLHOUSE MODELLING THE IHEARYOU HEARING AID. CREDIT: MARK COULSON
Blamey & Saunders Hearing, Elaine Saunders, +61 3 9008 6371, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.australiahears.com.au