- ASSISTIVE DEVICES
- EARMOLDS, EARPLUGS, AND IMPRESSION MATERIALS
- HEARING INSTRUMENTS
- HEARING INSTRUMENT ACCESSORIES
- HEARING INSTRUMENT COMPONENTS AND PRODUCTION/REPAIR SUPPLIES
- MARKETING, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT, AND INFORMATION RESOURCES
- TESTING AND FITTING EQUIPMENT
AT&T Offers Real-Time IM Relay
AT&T, Dallas, has announced that it is offering AT&T Real Time IM—allowing more than 31 million people with hearing and speech loss, nationwide, a more immediate way to communicate with standard telephone users. Using a specialized AOL Instant Message (AIM) interface that works with an Internet connection on a PC and on many wireless devices, a specially trained relay operator reads IMs to hearing callers and types IMs that are displayed—in real time—to the end user. The new service is offered at no additional charge to customers who register with AT&T Relay Services.
Somerset, NJ-based Oticon Inc’s new ConnectLine Bluetooth adaptors are plug and play, energy efficient, and part of Oticon’s integrated connectivity protocol. The TV adaptor overcomes the latency issue experienced with Bluetooth; the phone adaptor turns existing landline phones into cordless Bluetooth phones. Streamer maintains an energy efficient system for the hearing aids while streaming.
Telephone Ring Amplifier
Sonic Alert, Troy, Mich, now offers the new Geemarc CL1 Telephone Ring Amplifier with strobe light to alert the hard of hearing to incoming calls using both a flasher and extra loud (up to 95 dB) ringer alarm. The CL1 can easily be installed in any home by simply connecting the adapter to an electrical outlet and inserting the telephone line from the CL1 into the wall jack. No telephone is required for the signaler to work, just an active telephone line and electricity. Also available is an optional shaker. The signaler features tone and volume control as well as four alarm options.
EARMOLDS, EARPLUGS, AND IMPRESSION MATERIALS
Full Line of Impression Materials
Warner Tech-care Products, Roseville, Minn, carries a full line of impression materials and supplies. The easy-to-mix prelubricated, thixotropic materials are available in several shore values. The popular Pro-shot, Pro-shot II, and Tickled Pink material is dispensed through a cartridge system. This sanitary system is easy to clean up after and comes in a kit or by the individual cartridge. Accu-shot II is available in tubs for those dispensers who prefer mixing their own material. All of the Tech-care brand of impression materials sets up in 4 to 6 minutes.
Surround Sound by ReSound
ReSound, Bloomington, Minn, has introduced Surround Sound by ReSound, a processor providing sound in six new hearing instruments. Surround Sound processing handles different sound inputs with the same goal as audio mixing in movie and music production—the hearing instruments capture bass and treble independently, and then blend them to create a vibrant sound, says the company. The line is available in the new product families of ReSound Live and dot2 by ReSound.
Audina Introduces Intuition 12
Audina Hearing Instruments Inc, Longwood, Fla, has announced the addition of the INTUITION 12 custom digital hearing instrument to its family of INTUITION products. The new 12-channel instrument offers exceptional power output control with eight independent compression channels and eight adjustable WDRC channels, providing broader fitting flexibility. With 110 dB dynamic range and Audina’s Softwave system, the Intuition 12 offers excellent bandwidth to achieve added stable gain in the low frequencies, providing an opportunity to fit a wider range of patients with severe hearing losses.
Ponto Hearing System Receives FDA Clearance
Oticon Medical AB, Askim, Sweden (US headquarters, Somerset, NJ), has announced that it has obtained clearance from the FDA to market its Ponto bone-anchored hearing system. Oticon Medical said it plans to launch the Ponto System globally later this year.
Described as “an easy-to-operate computer fitting platform to enable a more precise match between patient and sound processor, the Ponto and Ponto Pro sound processor models are fully digital, based on the proprietary Oticon RISE platform, the world’s most advanced sound technology.” Ponto is Oticon Medical’s first entry into the high-growth bone-anchored hearing market.
New S Series BTE with Sweep Technology
Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, has announced the introduction of a new S Series BTE with Sweep Technology, which provides a completely new way to adjust hearing aids. Sweep Technology replaces all of the traditional hearing aid buttons and dials with an innovative touch surface that allows users to adjust volume up or down and change memories with the simple sweep or touch of a finger. Sweeping a finger up increases the volume and sweeping down decreases the volume. Memory adjustments are made with a simple touch of the surface. The new S Series BTE can be fit with standard earmolds or open with thin tubing. The instrument includes Advanced HydraShield as well as T2, giving patients the ability to adjust hearing aid volume or memories with a touch-tone phone.
Effective, Efficient Fitting
Ear Technology Corporation, Johnson City, Tenn, is now shipping its Clik open-fit BTE, an instrument that provides an innovative, efficient fitting protocol for patients with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. Clik’s processor is preloaded with a variety of algorithms, so instead of programming via traditional cable connections, the appropriate setting is selected with a fingertip. Clik features digital volume control, directional microphones, and two telecoils. Clik allows for 24-bit precision computing with up to 110 dB of input dynamic range and eight channel wide dynamic range compression.
HEARING INSTRUMENT ACCESSORIES
Hearing Instrument Dryer
Westone Laboratories, Colorado Springs, Colo, offers the latest hearing instrument maintenance device from the makers of Dry & Store. Zephyr is compact and easy-to-use, making it perfect for travel. Utilizing the same principles as clothes drying on a line, Zephyr gently circulates warm, dry air around the hearing instrument. The specially formulated Dry-Brik® desiccant then captures the moisture. Used daily, Zephyr removes damaging moisture, dries earwax, and removes odor. The result is hearing instruments that sound better, last longer, and need fewer repairs.
Weston Laboratories, Colorado Springs, Colo, offers the Branson 200 Ultrasonic Cleaner. Ultrasonic energy (40 kHz) creates millions of bubbles in the cleaning solution that work their way into the small crevices of clinical equipment and earmolds to loosen dirt debris. The compact (8 3/4” length x 4 1/2” width x 5” deep) cleaner weighs only 3 pounds and features a 15-ounce steel tank.
HEARING INSTRUMENTS COMPONENTS AND PRODUCTION/REPAIR SUPPLIES
The Jodi-Press/Vac from Jodi-vac, LLC, Portland, Ore, is the same size as the Jodi-Pro Plus (6.5” x 4.5” x 2.5”) offering the additional benefit of air pressure and reinforced flexible vent reamers. Cloned after the XL minus the desiccator, the Press/Vac offers 20 PSI of pressure with coiled tubing that extends to a working length of 35 inches. Pumps are serviceable and motors are rated at 2,000 hours.
Hearing Aid Workstation
With its all-steel construction and attractive powder-coated cabinet, the Audio Repair Bench from Lightning Enterprises, Limington, Me, includes a two-speed Model 26A Red Wing Lathe with Mod Tool Kit, Dual-Lite UV Cure Unit, VAC-1B Hearing Aid Cleaning System, VAC-1D Desiccator Chamber for hearing aid drying, two Model 550 Dust Collectors with splash hoods, and CM-3 Control Module, as well as extended sides to give the technician plenty of working room. The table top is designed to resist scratching and wear, and under-shelf fluorescent light illuminates the work area.
Quality Control System Introduced
Copenhagen, Denmark-based 3Shape A/S, a global CAD/CAM technology developer (US headquarters, New Providence, NJ), has announced the release of its 3D quality control and reverse engineering system targeted to the needs of hearing instrument manufacturers. The company says its new 3Shape Quality Control and Reverse Engineering solution will allow hearing instrument manufacturers to introduce or upgrade quality control validation procedures, thereby achieving significant improvement in savings and production workflow efficiency. This new solution is available either as a stand-alone platform or integrated with 3Shape’s 3D CAD/CAM products for hearing aid instrument design and production.
MARKETING, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT, AND INFORMATION RESOURCES
30 Days with Hearing Aids
Auricle Ink Publishers, Sedona, Ariz, has available Hearing Aids—The First 30 Days, by Jess Dancer, EdD. The professor emeritus of audiology serves as a guide to patients as they begin their new journey, providing warmth, focus, technical advice, and practical wisdom along the way as wearers move toward understanding and acceptance of their hearing aids.
Phonak Debuts New Web Sites
Launching two new Web sites, Swiss-based Phonak (US headquarters, Warrenville, Ill) hopes to address the different needs of its target groups: professionals and consumers. PhonakPro.com introduces and explains the company’s hearing systems in detail, and includes user experiences and online-based training and sales and marketing materials. Phonak.com addresses hearing system users and those who are looking for information regarding the topic of hearing. It offers guidance for prevention and possible solutions. With an online hearing screening, people can do a free preliminary check of their hearing to find out if a complete hearing assessment is warranted.
Double Money-Back Guarantee
San Francisco-based Sycle.net, makers of a leading hearing care practice management system, has announced the company will be continuing its double money-back guarantee for new customers through December 31, 2009. The refund offer does not apply to data migration fees if a new customer requires their existing data be imported into Sycle.net.
New Software From Audioscan
Audioscan, Dorchester, Ontario, Canada, has announced the release of a new version of its software. Version 3.4 builds on the company’s position in objective hearing instrument fitting by adding a unique test for verifying frequency-altering hearing instruments, the ISTS speech signal, and other refinements. Four new speech passages are available, which can be used to show that previously unaidable speech information has been rendered audible through the use of frequency manipulation. The ISTS signal allows health care professionals to adjust and fit the instrument using speech that is not language specific. Version 3.4 is free to download from Audioscan’s Web site.
Automated Sound Processor Replacement Service
Advanced Bionics, Valencia, Calif, has announced the launch of an automated sound processor replacement service called Processor Direct. The new program streamlines the system by which a sound processor can be replaced, thereby shortening the time a cochlear implant recipient is without sound, the company announced today. Under the new Processor Direct program, audiologists can log on to a secure, fully automated Web site and upload the unique program file for the patient’s sound processor. Advanced Bionics will then load the patient’s customized program into a replacement device and ship it directly to their home.
Phonak Extends Service, Product Portfolio
To support hearing care professionals when addressing physicians regarding hearing loss and hearing devices, Phonak, Stafa, Switzerland (US headquarters, Warrenville, Ill), has introduced a modular program comprising information and educational materials. The physician marketing program will be introduced in 14 markets starting in November 2009, says the company. And, in partnership with the worldwide operating insurance company Allianz, Phonak now offers a loss and damage insurance package for buyers of Phonak hearing systems, FM systems, or accessories.
New LACE DVD
Neurotone, Redwood City, Calif, has released LACE Unplugged, an interactive, auditory training DVD designed to improve the listening skills of the millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss. Based on the company’s LACE computer auditory training technology, it provides 5 hours of listening training exercises, featuring more than 250 communication strategies and hearing aid acclimatization tips to help new and existing hearing instrument wearers improve communication skills.
TESTING AND FITTING EQUIPMENT
Digital Sound Level Meter
The Digital Multi-Function Sound Level Meter from Hearing Technologies International Inc, Pinellas Park, Fla, features bar graph indicating and max value holding as well as a four-digit LCD display and seven selectable sound levels from 30-80 dB to 30-130 dB with an accuracy +/- 1.5 dB. Frequency range: 31.5–8.5 kHz, with fast and slow detection characteristics.
OTOPod Upgrade, Addition
Otovation, King of Prussia, Pa, has announced an upgrade and addition to its OTOPod line. The OTOPod M1 is now shipping with Otovation’s newly designed OTONet wireless adapter, which provides significant improvements in the speed and reliability of the wireless communications. Also included in this release are enhancements to the company’s Symphony and Symphony NOAH Module software. OTOPod M1 customers wishing to upgrade may purchase the OTOPod, OTONet Adapter, and Symphony Upgrade Package and exchange their existing OTOPod. All new OTOPods will include the OTONet Adapter. Amplitude T-Series audiometers will continue to be supplied with the Ezurio Bluetooth adapter.
Earscan 3 Manual Audiometer
Micro Audiometrics Corp, Murphy, NC, offers its durable, palm-sized Earscan 3 Manual Audiometer, a pure tone, air conduction audiometric device that features a large easy-to-read LCD screen, a talkover feature for communicating with test subjects, and a 3-year limited warranty. The Earscan 3 allows test frequencies and levels to be selected to meet your requirements, and can be changed at any time. Calibration mode is password protected to ensure data integrity.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry System
Pehratek Products, Chaska, Minn, offers the Wireless XM-1000 Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) system that combines motion with attention-getting multiple light patterns to successfully perform pediatric assessments. Each smoked plexiglas box features a friendly cartoon character that lights up and quietly moves back and forth to attract attention. Additionally, 20 brightly colored LED lights flash in a wave or in a marquee pattern to create an ever-changing attractive display for reinforcing responses. This user-installable system features a RF remote control to activate the system from inside or outside the test booth to over 50 feet.
Frye Becomes Sole Manufacturer of ANL Test
Frye Electronics, Tigard, Ore, has announced that it has became the sole manufacturer and distributor of the Acceptable Noise Level (ANL) Test, originally developed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Frye purchased the rights from Cosmos Distributing. This ANL program, which requires a two-channel audiometer like the FONIX FA-10, provides the dispenser with information in as little as 2 or 3 minutes on the likelihood that the customer will be a good candidate for a hearing aid.
MedRx Offers AVANT REM Speech+ and A2D+
MedRx Inc, Largo, Fla, offers two new systems: The AVANT REM Speech+ Real Ear and Live Speech Mapping System, and the AVANT A2D+ diagnostic audiometer, both featuring an advanced ergonomic design. New features of the REM Speech+ include the Sure Probe microphone system with lighted visual cues and an adjustable loop design that will fit any ear. Also new is a selectable dual probe measurement option that allows the user to do live speech mapping on both ears simultaneously. The AVANT A2D+ is a two-channel, air, bone, and speech audiometer with a new integrated Quick SIN testing feature. The A2D+ audiometer comes standard with insert ear phones and custom carrying case. Both systems weigh less than a half pound each, connect to a USB port, and are NOAH System 3 and TIMS compatible.
Touch-Screen Control Center
Pehratek Products, Chaska, Minn, introduces The Client Center, designed to integrate display information from various audiological, diagnostic, and fitting equipment into one centrally controlled system. With the touch of the Command Controller Display, audiograms, REM graphs, hearing aid pictures, otoscopic images, and almost any other image can be displayed on a large-screen LCD that is center stage to the client. A built-in media player stores graphics or video for presentations.
An Oasis of Relief
Neuromonics’ noninvasive, FDA-cleared Oasis device is customized to the patient’s unique hearing and tinnitus profile, says the company. Delivering a customized stimulus that promotes neural changes, Oasis allows the brain to filter out the disturbing tinnitus sound. This stimulus is delivered within spectrally modified, customized music, which engages the brain’s emotional response center and the limbic system, reportedly reducing tinnitus-related disturbance.
Hear Reliever from Clearly Heard Inc, Glendale, Calif, is a supplement formulated to assist patients with the symptoms associated with ringing or buzzing in the ear. Hearing supplements have been shown to be effective in reducing and/or eliminating tinnitus in some patients. Hear Reliever’s formula includes glutathione (a key element in reportedly helping to prevent free radical damage), CoQ10 (an antioxidant said to promote cellular energy), and NAC (an amino acid shown to repair damaged hair cells of the inner ear). Health Care Professional discounts and affiliate programs are available.