HR’s annual corporate review of events and new products from the industry’s perspective, and what may be in store for 2011.

The year 2010 brought many new products, events, and turning points for the hearing industry. As the year comes to a close, The Hearing Review asked several companies to comment on what they viewed as their major achievements, milestones, and corporate highlights during 2010, and what products, services, and announcements might be expected from them during 2011. Here’s a look from their perspective on the past year and the year to come. Additionally, the “HR Headlines” provide a sampling of just a few of the news items, announcements, and related articles that made it onto the pages and online offerings of HR during 2010. For more information on these companies’ products and services, use the contact information at the end of each company entry.

American Hearing Aid Associates

Looking Back at 2010…

A highlight of the year was AHAA’s introduction of a comprehensive training program, All the Right Things, emphasizing activities and processes that drive business growth and organizational development. By the end of 2010, AHAA will have conducted some 400 training events across the country for practice owners and members of their teams.

This training initiative along with our Navigator Website represent a comprehensive “how to” guide to running and growing a business and to managing and developing staff. In addition, our 2010 Annual Convention presented some 40 ASHA-, AAA-, and HIS-approved educational sessions covering all aspects of increasing practice performance.

In addition, AHAA’s Preferred Network provides small, noncompeting groups of Associates opportunities to meet regularly in their local areas to discuss key issues common to their practices. Meeting and topics focus on doing All the Right Things with improvements in organizational design, hiring, training, tracking, operations, and finance.

Moving Forward to 2011 …

AHAA will hold our 15th Annual Convention February 16-19 in Las Vegas. More than 400 people are expected. With the theme, Your Success, Realized, the event will focus on the key ingredients of our relationship with our Associates: specialized guidance using an expert methodology that leads both to a great customer experience and to a successful practice.

American Hearing Aid Associates is the industry’s leading provider of business and marketing planning services. Founded in 1995, we offer our nationwide network of more than 2,000 independent hearing health care professionals (Associates) a virtual franchise without loss of their autonomy. Contact AHAA today to join our dynamic network of Associates.

American Hearing Aid Associations

Chadds Ford, Pa
(800) 984-3272


Looking Back at 2010 …
First and foremost, thank you to our great customers and our team of dedicated representatives for a banner year. As we approach the end of 2010, it looks as though we have achieved an annual double-digit increase, despite an economic headwind.

In 2010, we conducted over 30 workshops around the country and noted an increase in both attendance and attentiveness. Objective measurement seems to be increasing in popularity, and we believe those with hearing loss will benefit greatly from this trend.

We also previewed the Axiom® at AudiologyNOW! Our first new product in quite some time, the Axiom has wide appeal as an affordable and effective hearing instrument fitting system. This Speechmap® device allows the hearing care professional to captivate, educate, and motivate patients—all at a price point that is very compelling.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
In 2011 we will be introducing a new NOAH module that boasts the same high standard and ease-of-use as the software our equipment is famous for.

We hope to continue our success in making probe measurement mainstream. We feel this mission benefits both patients and dispensing professionals, and we intend to keep improving and growing until every fitter is verifying objectively. Call your local representative to arrange an Audioscan test drive today!


Dorchester, Ontario
(800) 265-2093

Blueprint Solutions

Looking Back at 2010 …
The 2010 American Academy of Audiology (AAA) convention marked the entry of Blueprint Office Management System (OMS) into the US market. With more than 6 years of proven office management in Canada, the time was right for Blueprint Solutions to take this step. Since then, Blueprint Solutions has experienced significant growth in its US user base.

“Blueprint OMS provides an easy and user-friendly alternative to Internet-based office management systems,” says Henrik Nielsen, president of Blueprint Solutions.

Blueprint OMS takes care of scheduling, patient data, invoicing, hearing aid database, etc. Blueprint OMS provides an intuitive graphical user interface with drag and drop functionality, real-time QuickBooks integration, a powerful marketing module, and other tools for managing and growing your business. Blueprint OMS is Internet-based and can be accessed from anywhere.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
At the end of 2010, Blueprint Solutions released version 1.1 with many new features and additions. It is Blueprint Solutions’ commitment to continue with rapid development to meet the many requirements of successful practices. Expect to see several new releases in 2011.

Blueprint OMS is clinic management made easy.

Blueprint Solutions/Blueprint OMS

Eden Prairie, Minn
(877) 686-8410

Ear Technology Corporation

Looking Back at 2010 …
The year 2010 was a busy one for Ear Technology Corporation. In the past year the company:

  • Launched the next generation of Dry & Store with the Global II, providing increased reliability and a sleek new design.
  • Med-El began providing Zephyr units to their cochlear implant recipients (Cochlear Corporation has been providing Globals and Zephyrs worldwide since 2004).
  • Relocated to a new facility, facilitating better integration of design, development, marketing, sales, and customer support under one roof.
  • Launched the Dry & Store blog to encourage better two-way communication with our customers, while providing tips and insights regarding use of Dry & Store.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
Further improvements to the TransEar bone conduction hearing aid oscillator and chip design to provide broader range of frequency response, while retaining reliability and TransEar’s position as the non-surgical remedy of choice for single-sided deafness.

Ear Technology Corporation

Johnson City, Tenn
(800) 327-8547

Grason-Stadler Inc (GSI)

HR Headlines

Looking Back at 2010 …
The year 2010 saw the launch of a revitalized Grason-Stadler (GSI). Acquired by William Demant in late 2009, the last year has seen significant investment by Demant in GSI. Initial examples were the establishment of global headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn, and recruitment and development of a new GSI Team to supplement existing personnel.

A primary focus of the organizational growth came within the Research and Development Department. This R&D commitment will ensure a strong future product portfolio. In addition, the revitalized GSI brand and visual identity were launched at AAA with a new booth, marketing materials, and Web site.

The introduction of GSI Suite (expected in Q4 2010) marks the first tangible example of progress within the product portfolio. This solution addresses the elevated use of IT and electronic journals (EMRs) in clinical settings. The application is the outcome of input from our partners and conversion into new solutions that match market requirements. Partnering with our customers has always been a significant pillar of our heritage—collaboration that we will carefully nurture going forward.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
Looking ahead, 2011 will be a year of progress and hard work for Grason-Stadler. We will continue the strong momentum built in the past year, enabling us to become an even stronger partner to our customers and distributors.

Grason-Stadler Inc

Eden Prairie, Minn
(800) 700-2282

MedRx Inc

Looking Back at 2010 …
MedRx Inc is about to enter its 18th year in business, serving the clinical instrumentation needs of the hearing care market. The company began as a small domestic manufacturer of Video Otoscopy technology, and today now serves some 44 international markets. The company is a leading developer and supplier of PC-based testing and fitting instrumentation, specializing in REAL Ear Measurement, Audiometry, Hearing Instrument Testing, Video Otoscopy, and Tympanometry. This past year for MedRx was again a year of extensive international distribution expansion. In 2010, the company opened 17 new export markets in Europe, Asia, the Mideast, and Central America.

At the same time the company was focused on international expansion goals in 2010, MedRx continued to evolve and develop 3 new products for 2011, expanded the software capabilities and performance of their existing instrumentation, and participated in numerous domestic and international convention venues in the hearing care industry. MedRx is proud to have established their clinical brand, AVANT™, as a leading global brand of advanced PC-based instrumentation.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
As the company heads into a new year, it will remain focused on three primary objectives:

  1. Continued international progression in Asia and South/Central America;
  2. An introduction of a remarkable new generation of fitting technology that will accelerate fitting verification as a global “standard of care” for fitting hearing instruments;
  3. New, smaller, yet powerful physical PC-driven platforms for testing.

MedRx is also exploring some new ancillary consumer markets to the hearing care industry that have emerging opportunities that will utilize the same MedRx proprietary measurement technologies available in the clinical hearing market.

MedRx Inc

Largo, Fla
(888) 392-1234


Looking Back at 2010 …
Microsonic has become the most reputable brand in earmold manufacturing since 1964. Word of mouth brought Microsonic to the top in less than 10 years for its remarkable quality. Today, we are proud to serve over 10,000 customers in the United States alone.

2010 has been definitely a year of growth for Microsonic. We launched new products and features such as Jellyburst™ silicone earmolds, MicroCera™ ceramic earmolds, MicroGlaze™ anti-bacterial coating, Attenu-Press™ silicone impression material, and many more.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
Our partners and end users around the globe will see numerous innovations in products & services during 2011. We will be launching new earmold styles and materials in the first quarter. Our accessories department is flexing its muscles for new products.

Microsonic Music is coming back strong in 2011: Multiple-driver custom musician monitors, two-way in-ear wireless communications, and the debut of affordable earbuds for music enthusiasts.


Ambridge, Pa
(800) 523-7672


Looking Back at 2010 …
In 2010, Oticon strengthened the company’s commitment to putting People First with a focus on developing innovative hearing solutions that empower people with hearing loss to communicate freely, interact naturally, and participate actively. Empowering hearing care professionals to build positive relationships with the new and demanding generation of users through the successful management of the day-to-day operation and marketing of their practices is an integral part of that commitment.

The introduction of the new Oticon Chili, Acto, and Safari SP families demonstrated how insight into end-user needs and desires and innovative technology can facilitate more natural communication for more people than ever before. Through knowledge-sharing initiatives like the Marketing Boot Camp and Human Link conferences, we were able to provide the support and practical tools practitioners need to become stronger and more successful life-quality providers.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
In 2011, Oticon will continue to combine technological leadership with new services and business support initiatives based on end-user insights. Connectivity will continue to play a central role, enabling Oticon and our business partners to meet the high expectations of a new generation of hearing-impaired individuals. We will also increase our offerings of online and offline tools to foster successful interaction between hearing care professionals and their clients, to increase patient satisfaction, and to build practices.

In the coming year, Oticon Inc will move to a new, state-of-the-art headquarters building that will allow us to expand our facilities, our staff, and our support to better serve the evolving needs of hearing care professionals and their clients.

Oticon Inc

Somerset, NJ
(800) 856-3921


Looking Back at 2010 …
Otometrics celebrated MADSEN’s 50th anniversary in audiology. MADSEN is synonymous with solutions for screening and diagnosing hearing loss, and Otometrics has introduced many firsts over the years, beginning when Professor Madsen revolutionized the industry with the world’s first electro-acoustic “impedance bridge.”

Recently, Otometrics introduced the first modern audiometer to combine the best of traditional and PC-based features—the MADSEN Astera. There are now even more good reasons to choose the MADSEN Astera as your clinical solution. Not only does it incorporate features to improve the diagnostic testing process, it is ready to meet future requirements for Electronic Medical Record systems (EMR). Furthermore, the patient’s counseling experience can be enhanced with a touch screen inside the booth. Otometrics also continued their commitment to providing educational opportunities in 2010. The semi-annual videonystagmography (VNG) and electronystagmography (ENG) course featuring Dr Kamran Barin saw increased attendance at its October session in Chicago with 80 attendees, including audiologists, neurologists, nurses, physician assistants, and medical technicians. The Otometrics Web channel on Audiology Online expanded to a library of 15 CEU-based courses that highlight a variety of practical usage and diagnostic topics for MADSEN and ICS equipment.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
The ICS brand, responsible for the first commercially available PC-based electronystagmography (ENG) unit and many other “firsts” in the field of balance, will turn 30 years old in 2011. We will celebrate this milestone with events and activities. Also in 2011, the OTOsuite software will continue to provide access to everything you need for the entire client journey via a single intuitive interface. Overall, we expect an exciting year in which we will bring significant new products into the US market.

GN Otometrics-North America

Schaumburg, Ill
(800) 289-2150


Looking Back at 2010 …
At the 2010 AudiologyNOW! convention in April, Panasonic announced that we were joining the US hearing care market! In doing so, Panasonic becomes the first recognized brand to join the industry in more than 12 years.

The first half of the year was filled with planning and assembling the right team. Then we introduced our 4-series RIC, 2-series BTE, as well as the JZ Series—a hearing instrument with a binaural stereo headset. At mid-year, Panasonic launched our products to key distributors and began delivery to dispensing professionals. Our hearing instruments are designed to deliver the features, convenience, and performance requested by hearing care professionals and their discerning patients. Each unit incorporates a user-friendly design for comfortable use and functionality.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
In 2011, Panasonic Healthcare Group will introduce new innovative, user friendly, and state-of-the-art hearing solutions that will enable hearing care professionals to offer their patients comfort and satisfaction. Our focus will be to build a network of hearing care professionals that understand how to use the Panasonic brand to expand the market. Panasonic strives to become the preferred provider to the independent hearing care professional. Our commitment will be supported by incorporating ideas for life and understanding patients’ needs—and making a difference in their daily lives.

Panasonic Corp of North America

Secaucus, NJ
(888) 422-6309


Looking Back at 2010 …
In 2010, ReSound introduced a significant advancement in hearing care technology, ReSound Alera™—the industry’s first truly wireless hearing aid featuring 2.4 GHz technology. ReSound Alera builds upon the sound quality of ReSound Live and dot2 by ReSound hearing instruments. Very simply, Alera is the best sounding hearing aid we’ve made. The new Range platform in Alera offers patients:

  • Better noise reduction
  • Better environmental control
  • Better feedback management
  • The best sound quality

Operating on the 2.4 GHz frequency, ReSound Alera and the accompanying Unite™ series of wireless accessories introduce a new approach to the way a hearing aid receives sound from devices such as TVs, stereos, cell phones, and computers. For the first time, the patient can receive sound directly from the device without cables, wires, or the need to wear uncomfortable accessories.

Because Alera uses 2.4 GHz wireless technology, it can be easily fitted without the use of a bulky device to connect the hearing aid to the fitting software. Professionals can say good-bye to a tangled mess of cables, thanks to ReSound Airlink™, which provides truly wireless programming. As small and easy-to-use as a memory stick, Airlink simply plugs into a USB port on the programming computer. This technology, although new to hearing aids, has been proven in the gaming industry and in the use of wireless keyboards.

With Alera and Unite, ReSound has introduced a highly advanced set of hearing instruments that feature chips with extraordinary computational power and a robust design that leverages the iSolate™ nano-tech coating to protect the hearing aid from water, sweat, and corrosion.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
In 2011, ReSound will expand the ReSound Alera family to additional form factors. Even more patients will benefit from this state-of-the-art technology that is changing the hearing care industry and delivering unique benefits to professionals.


Bloomington, Minn
(800) 248-4327

Starkey Laboratories

Looking Back at 2010 …
Starkey launched a number of exciting new products and programs in 2010, including S Series™ iQ, featuring Voice iQ, a noise management and speech preservation system designed to reduce noise between syllables of words; OtoLens™, the world’s first invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid; and Starkey Pediatrics, a new program designed specifically with children in mind and featuring some of kids’ favorite Nickelodeon™ characters on earmolds and materials that accompany hearing aids. In conjunction with the new products and programs, Starkey released the newest version of the Inspire® software.

Also in 2010, Starkey was proud to host or sponsor a number of exciting industry events, including the 2010 Jackson Hole Rendezvous, held in Jackson Hole, Wyo, in August; the first annual Pediatric Symposium featuring special guest Marion Downs in September; and the inaugural Innovation in Action Symposium featuring fascinating research from noted audiologists from around the world in November.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
Starkey will continue to develop and release best-in-class hearing instruments and breakthrough fitting software. With an intense focus on evidence-based design, Starkey products will be proven to enhance the patient journey.

Starkey Laboratories Inc

Eden Prairie, Minn
(800) 328-8602

Looking Back at 2010 …
The year 2010 was a very exciting one for We brought on more independent practices this year than any previous, released some great new features, traveled the country to attend some fantastic industry events, and even hosted one of our own in San Francisco! And to top it all off, we welcomed some very talented individuals to the team.

As 2010 comes to a close, we are proud to say we are the number-one hearing care practice management system with over 3,800 practices utilizing the software every day!

Moving Forward to 2011 …
As the industry evolves, so does! We are very excited to be developing our paperless office technology as we speak. This advancement will allow our customers to scan and attach documents to patient records in

In addition, our Noah interface is set to take to a whole new level in cloud computing. The Noah Network, which is currently in beta testing, allows our customers to access a patient’s Noah record from any computer on the Internet.

2011 is on track to be a huge year for the industry and for We can’t thank our dedicated customers enough for their help in driving the development of the software. We look forward to bringing you more exciting new functionality in the coming year!

San Francisco, Calif
(888) 881-7925


Looking Back at 2010 …
In 2010, Unitron™ pursued fresh and imaginative ways to improve lives by developing purpose-driven hearing innovations for real life. Unitron continued to support its Passport™ and Latitude™ lines that include SmartFocus™, which puts the spotlight on speech in noisy environments by automatically adjusting microphone strategies to address different listening preferences. Unitron also introduced two wireless systems. Smart Alert™ System includes doorbell, telephone, and smoke detectors, and an advanced remote that sends wireless alerts to clients’ hearing instruments. Tandem™ is an all-in-one wireless system designed for clients with unaidable unilateral hearing loss, improving awareness of sound originating from their poor side.

To meet the growing demand for micro CRTs is Moxi™ 3G, a sexy, ultra-small 312 wireless CRT available in a rich palette of color choices and metallics. Moxi 3G offers an easy-to-use telephone solution, SmartFocus, Unifi™ wireless system compatibility, onBoard™ Control, and Smart Control remote compatibility. Clients can flaunt their Moxi with a choice of four price points.

Unitron also launched the Unite™ loyalty program with practice development services and Gold Standard benefits. The Practice Insight™ benchmarking tool, Business Compass™ practice evaluation, and partnerships with 12 independent service providers are essential components of the Unite program. The myUnitron™ online portal was also launched, putting the tools and services you need at your fingertips, 24/7, as well as a new Web site at with enhanced tools and resources for consumers and hearing professionals.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
In the coming year, Unitron will further develop the Unite program by engaging additional service providers and offering more tools to help you grow your business. Unitron will continue to listen closely to the challenges and aspirations of people with hearing loss and the professionals who support them, to identify gaps and opportunities, and to respond with purpose-driven solutions that connect your clients to what matters.


Plymouth, Minn
(800) 888-8882


Looking Back at 2010 …

The year 2010 will be a very memorable year for Westone. It was filled with many incredible developments—as well as some sad news. This year saw the introduction of several exciting products:

We were all saddened by the news of Westone Founder Ron Morgan, Sr, passing away on October 4. It was 1959 when he and his wife, Mickey, made their first custom-fit earpieces on the kitchen table and started what would become Westone. We at Westone are eternally grateful for what Ron began more than 50 years ago.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
2011 promises to be another busy year at Westone. We have many projects in development here at Westone—but remember, all are designed to provide you and your patients with the most innovative, up-to-date products and services.

Westone Laboratories Inc

Colorado Springs, Colo
(800) 525-5071

Widex USA

Looking Back at 2010 …
The year 2010 has been an exciting and eventful year for Widex, one of the world’s most respected manufacturers of hearing instruments.

An important study from the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, published earlier this year, highlighted how the Zen feature, in selected Widex hearing instruments, demonstrated promise as a sound therapy tool for tinnitus management. Zen is a Widex-only patented program that uses fractal technology to generate soothing harmonic tones and chimes that can aid patients in relaxation. Zen has generated media attention as an intriguing and unexpected hearing aid feature.

And Zen is now available at three different price points: mind440, mind330z, and the lower-cost mind220z.

Moving Forward to 2011 …
Widex’s efforts in the United States have been recently energized by one of the most significant developments in the hearing aid industry for 2010. Widex A/S in Denmark, a globally successful manufacturer that has been the source of many technological innovations since 1956, now has direct ownership of the new Widex USA. The company will be led by its new president, Jake Haycock.

Widex USA will continue to offer unique and important advancements in hearing care that will help you help your patients in 2011 and beyond!

Widex USA

Long Island City, NY
(800) 221-0188