Some of the latest hearing industry news from HearingReview.com

  • BELTONE LAUNCHES SIMPLER AND MORE INTERACTIVE WEB SITE
  • BONGIOVI ACOUSTICS SPONSORS ASHA’S LISTEN TO YOUR BUDS CAMPAIGN
  • BHI CREATES PR KIT FOR “BETTER HEARING MONTH” IN MAY
  • “AUDIOLOGIST” NAMED AGAIN IN THE TOP 10 BEST JOBS LIST FOR 2012
  • U OF IOWA RESEARCHERS SEEK ADULTS WITH TINNITUS FOR NEW STUDIES
STUDY OF OTICON MEDICAL’S PONTO IMPLANT SYSTEM RELEASED

Since its introduction 2 years ago, more than 3,000 patients have reportedly received Oticon Medica1’s Ponto bone anchored hearing system in eight countries. A new retrospective white paper study of patients in the United States indicates that the Ponto system reflects strong patient acceptance with few failures.

The study examined the outcome of patients who underwent Ponto implantation at three institutions in the United States: Michigan Ear Institute, Arizona Hearing and Balance Center, and Georgia Health Sciences University. The study set out to examine the rate of implant loss, the rate of revision surgery, and the incidence of skin reactions.

A total of 98 patients (38 males and 60 females) 5 to 79 years old (mean age: 51.5 years) were included in the multicenter study. All had been implanted with a Ponto bone anchored system between November 2009 and June 2011. The mean follow-up time was 5.3 months.

The results of the retrospective survey found no implant extrusion in any of the 98 patients implanted with the Ponto system, and no revision surgery performed in any of the cases. Skin complications did not occur in the vast majority of patients, and those that occurred were minor and successfully managed clinically. Furthermore, out of 98 cases, none had osseointegration failure.

“The audiological benefits of the Ponto System have previously been documented, and I am very pleased that we can now show the first clinical results on the Ponto Implant from a multicenter survey,” said Jes Olsen, general manager of Oticon Medical in the press release. “These clinical outcomes along with the newest implantation numbers for the Ponto system indicate that we are successfully addressing a clear need for choice and patient-friendly options for physicians, audiologists, and their patients.”

To read the full white paper, “The Ponto Bone Anchored Implant System: A Survey of Clinical Outcomes,” contact Oticon Medical or visit www.oticonmedical.com.

WESTONE LAUNCHES CUSTOM RIC EARPIECE EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

Westone Laboratories has launched its “Greater Than” campaign to educate hearing professionals on the advantages to using a custom earpiece for receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing instruments.

“Receiver-in-the-canal hearing instruments offer patients a discreet and appealing amplification solution, but a one-size-fits-all earpiece is not always the answer when fitting this type of hearing instrument,” explains Christine Maré, AuD, Westone director of hearing healthcare.

She adds that custom earpieces for RIC hearing instruments allow audiologists to give patients more venting options, improved gain, and better retention, while preserving comfort and cosmetic appeal.

To help educate hearing care professionals, Westone taught a workshop at the recent AAA conference in Boston. In addition, it has developed new educational materials and other resources, including a new Web site and a “quick start guide” that will be available over the coming months.

AUDIOLOGY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES ANNUAL “LISTEN UP AMERICA” WEEK

The Audiology Awareness Campaign (AAC) recently announced its fifth annual “Listen Up America” Week, a national hearing screening campaign that is scheduled for May 14-18, 2012, across the United States.

This weeklong national event provides audiologists and hearing health professionals with an opportunity to raise consumer awareness about hearing loss and hearing loss prevention.

The annual campaign involves audiologists from around the country offering free hearing screenings during the May time period. Consumers are directed to contact the registered offices and schedule an appointment during the campaign week.

AAC will provide participating audiologists with camera-ready materials to promote their office in their local area. AAC reports that last year’s campaign was featured in 781 Internet articles and 63 newspaper articles.

AAC is a nonprofit audiology advocacy group that is currently sponsored by Widex, Phonak, Oticon, GN ReSound, and Starkey Hearing Instruments.

AAC board members include Kathy Landau Goodman, AuD; Sheri Weiner, AuD; Perry C. Hanavan, AuD; Colonel Nancy Vause, PhD; David Citron III, PhD; and Monica A. Mejia.

NYEE LAUNCHES HEARING LOSS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN FEATURING CHRIS BOTTI AND STING

Singer, activist, and author Sting and renowned trumpeter and composer Chris Botti (pictured) are participating in a new Baby Boomer hearing loss awareness campaign from The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE).

The campaign includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA), which was filmed by noted videographer and photographer Fabrizio Ferri, with voiceover narration by Sting. The campaign’s goal is to encourage Baby Boomers to get their hearing tested.

“I hope that with The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary as a partner, Chris and I are able to remind people of the critical need to protect their hearing,” commented Sting in the press announcement.

In conjunction with the nationally broadcast PSA, NYEE is going live with a new educational Web site: www.iLikeMyHearing.org. The site is designed as a one-stop resource to help all adults take control of their hearing health. It includes a simple hearing loss self-test, as well as information on where Baby Boomers can go to get their hearing tested.

The campaign also includes a new Facebook site that features a “Favorite Sounds” video that captures people talking about their favorite sounds. Visitors can choose to “like” the site by recording their own favorite sounds, and by doing so enter a “Favorite Sounds Sweepstakes.”

The sweepstakes prize is the $5,000-value opportunity for the winner and 10 friends to share dinner with Chris Botti at NYEE’s November 15, 2012, fundraising gala.

THE NIDCD RELEASES ITS 2012-2016 STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FUNDING HEARING HEALTH RESEARCH

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has released its 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, which sets goals for hearing and balance research and funding for the next 4 years.

The NIDCD Strategic Plan serves four main purposes: First, it helps NIDCD to prioritize its research investment. Second, it informs the nation’s scientists of emerging areas of opportunity for research and provides them with guidance as they formulate their own research plans. Third, it informs those with hearing disorders and communication diseases, as well as the general public and advocacy organizations, about research accomplishments and potential future breakthroughs.

Finally, the strategic plan shares research progress and areas of future research opportunity with the public and, of course, the universities and companies that develop hearing health solutions.

To develop the 2012-2016 plan, NIDCD convened a series of working groups and solicited input from scientific experts, the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council, NIDCD staff, and the public. In consultation with communication research scientists and the public, NIDCD identified four Priority Areas:

  • Priority Area 1: Understanding normal function
  • Priority Area 2: Understanding diseases and disorders
  • Priority Area 3: Improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention
  • Priority Area 4: Improving outcomes for human communication

The NIDCD’s executive summary of the plan, available for download at www.nidcd.nih.gov/about/plans/strategic/Pages/Default.aspx?nav=update, summarizes specific areas of research and goals under each priority area for hearing health and balance disorders, as well as other areas. The full strategic plan is also available for download.

THIEME PUBLISHES HANDBOOK OF ACOUSTIC ACCESSIBILITY

Thieme has recently published the Handbook of Acoustic Accessibility. The new guide focuses on the acoustic conditions, therapies, and technologies that assist audiologists and teachers of hearing-impaired students in making the speech signal audible, undistorted, and accessible.

Covering topics that range from acoustic measurements in the classroom to American Academy of Audiology clinical practice guidelines for Hearing Assistance Technology (HAT), the book reflects current practices and technologies that are designed to maximize the availability of classroom speech signals.

The handbook is written by Joseph Smaldino, PhD, professor emeritus, University of Northern Iowa, and professor of audiology at Illinois State University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; and Carol Flexer, PhD, LSLS Cert AVT, distinguished professor emeritus of audiology at the University of Akron in Ohio.

It includes 30 illustrations and may be a convenient guide for busy audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and teachers of students with hearing loss who need practical information for achieving acoustic accessibility. For more information, visit www.thieme.com.