Technology is developing into stronger, smarter, and smaller devices. Taking up less space while having more functionality is the overall trend.
This is also true for hearing aids, and it’s not a surprise. The world’s population is getting older and hearing issues, though they can have a variety of causes, are more common among older people. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 37.5 million people and 3 million Canadians report having difficulty hearing, and since age is a better predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number will probably increase.
Naturally, if you’re dealing with hearing loss, even one person with trouble hearing, i.e. you, is one person too many. Better ways to reduce hearing loss? Let’s have them! Here are some of the innovations that are happening.
Complete-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This one seems like 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 another one on your wrist? Nope! If you have a newer hearing aid, it can most likely track your pulse, physical activity along with fixing hearing issues such as tinnitus. Hearing aids also have the ability to track things that other wearables usually don’t, like the duration of conversations. How much social involvement you get can actually be an important health metric, especially as you get older.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have smoothly moved from smartphones to in-home devices and the main emphasis here is connectivity. Audio from a device, such as a smart TV can now be streamed directly to your hearing aid if it is Bluetooth capable. Google released open-source standards for Android developers that show them how to use specific channels within Bluetooth to provide uninterrupted audio straight to hearing aids. This technology is making things like music and movies more enjoyable by acting like super-powered wireless headphones.
Smart Adjustments From Big Data
Your next hearing aid may make personalized recommendations much like how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness goals or how Netflix suggests your next movie based on your viewing trend. The places you go and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being manufactured by several companies, to learn your behaviors. Some go as far as to crowdsource information about people’s utilization habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. 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 in an IMAX theater (for instance), you’ll get the best sound.
Getting Rid of The Batteries Once And For All
We know, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t require batteries? It can be very inconvenient making certain you have spare batteries or that your hearing aids are completely charged. While we’re not likely to get hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a constant improvement in rechargeable technology. You’ll get faster charging time, extended use time, and worry less about batteries, which seems pretty good.