Widex has won the prestigious European Inventor Award 2012. Besting 15 finalists, the Danish hearing aid manufacturer won for its ground-breaking CAMISHA technology, a sophisticated method of manufacturing individual hearing aid shells, earmolds, and ear-pieces.
The award was announced by the European Patent Office (EPO) at an award ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Speaking at the event, Widex CEO Jan Tøpholm said, “We are very proud to win this award, especially in competition with world renowned technologies such as Bluetooth and the heart attack diagnostic test from Roche. Innovation is part of our company DNA. This award underlines our role as a technology leader not only in the hearing aid industry, but as a high-tech company in general.”
CAMISHA stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing of Individual Shells for Hearing Aids. It uses laser technology to make an impression of the hearing aid user’s ear canal and turns this data into a 3D computer model. This is then used as a basis for the manufacturing of individual shells and earmolds that fit the user’s ear canal exactly.
The Hearing Review reported on Widex’s technology when they first released it in 2004. See: "Changing with the Times: Applying Digital Technology to Hearing Aid Shell Manufacturing" by Richard Cortez, MS; Nick Dinulescu, MS; Klavs Skafte, BS; Brian Olson; Denise Keenan, MA; and Francis Kuk, PhD.
Presenting the award to Widex, EPO President Benoît Battistelli said, “Jan Tøpholm, Søren Westermann, and Svend Vitting Andersen [the inventors] not only revolutionized the hearing aid industry with their invention, they also show how Widex is a lighthouse example of a small family-owned business becoming an internationally successful company by pursuing a well-defined innovation and patent strategy.”
A video of the award acceptance is available below: