Starkey announced that its latest hearing technology is now available through the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. The company reports that it has expanded its award-winning Livio Edge AI’s line of hearing aids and “is proud to now make this technology available to veterans and active duty military personnel.“ This offering includes “the world’s smallest, most powerful rechargeable BTE*, a first-of-its-kind speech enhancement feature, and industry-first technology that allows hearing aid wearers to use their hearing devices to find their smartphones,” according to Starkey’s announcement. 

“As the only American-owned hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey is pleased to continue supporting those who have served our country by offering the very best hearing healthcare technology on the market,” said Chief Audiology Officer Sara Burdak, AuD. “At a time when hearing is more essential than ever before, during the current global health crisis, we are very proud to offer new solutions that make it possible to stay connected and informed.” 

Starkey’s industry-leading technology has been “proven to be highly effective amid the COVID-19 pandemic,“ during which face masks are creating communication challenges for those with hearing loss. Livio Edge AI hearing aids use artificial intelligence to optimize for speech audibility.  With a double tap, Edge Mode conducts  an AI-based analysis of the  acoustic  environment and makes  immediate adjustments. When a wearer is communicating with someone wearing a face mask,  Edge Mode accounts for the impact of mask type, social distance, and background noise to the acoustic signal and delivers “greatly enhanced speech audibility and clarity,” according to the company. Starkey’s Thrive Hearing Control app now also includes Mask Mode, a new custom memory that “helps boost the frequency response in certain channels to help patients better hear people who are wearing face masks.” Additionally, “the world’s first and only 2.4 GHz custom rechargeables” are an additional mask solution, because they won’t fall out when you remove a mask from behind your ears, the company says.

The newest additions to the government contract include: 

·         The world’s “smallest, most powerful 2.4 GHz rechargeable BTE*. ”

·         Edge Mode: Helps optimize speech audibility in difficult listening environments.

·         Mask Mode: A custom memory in the Thrive Hearing Control app that “boosts the frequency response in certain channels and makes it easier to hear people who are wearing face masks.”

·         IntelliVoice: New Hearing Reality Pro speech enhancement feature for those with 50 dB hearing loss or greater that, when combined with the recently introduced Edge Mode, uses the advantages of the user’s smartphone and Deep Neural Network AI to help provide “smart, immediate adjustments for substantially enhanced speech sounds.” 

·         REM Target Match: Communicates with Real Ear Measurement systems for fittings. 

·         Multiflex Tinnitus Pro: A new shaping algorithm and custom fit tool to help provide more personalized maskers for each patient’s unique needs. 

·         Find My Phone: Using their hearing aids and the Thrive Assistant, wearers can now locate their lost or misplaced smartphones. 

·         Thrive Hearing Control app enhancements: New set-up screens and connectivity developments.

·         Fall Alert now available in Basic Mode in the Thrive Hearing Control app: Allows even more patients to maintain their independence and gives caregivers peace of mind. 

“We redefined the hearing aid with the incorporation of body and brain tracking, fall detection and alerts, translate and transcribe features, and intuitive tap control. Starkey offers veterans and military members a novel gateway to health monitoring, personalization and control,” said President and CEO Brandon Sawalich. “As we tear down the stigma associated with hearing loss and hearing aids, we are confident these new features will continue to make hearing aids want-to-have wearable technology that will help our nation’s finest hear better, so they can live better.”  

To learn more about Starkey and hearing loss resources for veterans, please click here.

*Starkey Competitive Benchmarking Study 2019 

Source: Starkey