Technology is developing into smarter, more powerful, and smaller devices. Taking up less space while having more functionality is the overall trend.
Hearing aids are no exception, and it’s not a surprise. The world’s population is aging and hearing problems, though they can have a number of causes, are more common among older people. Around 37.5 million people and 3 million Canadians report some level of hearing loss according to the National Institutes of Health. And that number is increasing as age is the strongest demographic variable to predict hearing loss.
If you’re dealing with hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Are there any better ways to deal with hearing loss? Bring ‘em on! Here are some of the innovations that are happening.
Whole-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This is so obvious, it’s one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that” innovations. Devices that provide different types of health tracking are nearly always worn and have to be worn close to the body. So do you really need a device on your wrist if you already have one in your ear? The answer is no. If you have a newer hearing aid, it can most likely track your pulse, physical activity along with fixing hearing problems like tinnitus. Certainly, a wearable like an Apple Watch can do that, but hearing aids can offer you other types of input that can be helpful to monitoring health, like how much time you spend having conversations or listening. How much social engagement you get can actually be an essential health metric, especially as you get older.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have quickly moved from smartphones to in-home devices and the principal emphasis here is connectivity. Some hearing aids that offer Bluetooth capabilities now let users stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for instance, to the hearing aids. Android developers now have open-source specifications provided by Google which lets them use specific Bluetooth channels to stream continuous audio directly to your hearing aid. This type of technology is helping hearing aids work almost like super-powered wireless headphones, making it easier to enjoy movies, music, and more.
Big Data Allows Smart Adjustments
Your next hearing aid could make individualized suggestions much like how a Fitbit informs you of fitness goals or how Netflix suggests your next movie in line with your viewing trend. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being developed by a few companies, to learn your behaviors. Some go as far as to crowdsource information about people’s utilization habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. So whether you’re watching TV at home, or in an IMAX theater, your hearing aids will be capable of using this information to recognize what your situation is and make adjustments to provide you with the most enjoyable audio experience.
Eliminating The Batteries Once And For All
Hearing aids that don’t need their batteries changed? Sound too good to be true? It can be very inconvenient making certain you have spare batteries or that your hearing aids are fully charged. While we’re not likely to get hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a continuous advancement in rechargeable technology. That means longer in-use time, faster recharging, and less worrying about batteries, overall, not too bad.