Clarification: In the original news story published on Tuesday (October 2), HR had cited in its “Related Articles” (at bottom of page) a news item about PSAPs. In correspondence with Sreekant Cherukuri, MD, owner of MDHearingAids, Dr Cherukuri pointed out that his product is an FDA registered Class I hearing aid.

A small study presented at the 2012 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) reportedly shows that the MDHearingAid line offers a reasonable low-cost hearing solution to those who are not using hearing aids or other amplification devices because of cost concerns.

In the study, researchers at the Michigan Ear Institute sought to evaluate the MDHearingAid®, an inexpensive (under $200) over-the-counter (OTC) FDA registered Class I hearing aid.

The MDHearingAid was first evaluated using a Fonix 6500c hearing aid analyzer, measured according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S3.22-1996 hearing aid specification standard (ANSI, 1996). The measurements included saturated sound pressure level curve, high-frequency average full-on gain, frequency response, total harmonic distortion, equivalent input noise level, and input-output curve.

Then the device was tested on a group of nine test participants with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss and who were reportedly unwilling to purchase a custom hearing aid due to cost considerations. The participants were asked to wear the device for a minimum of 30 days and complete two self-reported surveys: The International Outcome Inventory-Hearing Aids (IOI-HA) and the Satisfaction with Amplification in Daily Living (SADL).

Lead researcher Seilesh Babu, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist, found that the MDHearingAid met the acoustic targets, according to an MDHearingAid press release. In addition, all participants demonstrated user satisfaction scores that were within the standard range for patients with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss.

The study concluded that the low-cost MDHearingAid is “electroacoustically adequate and a reasonable low-cost solution to meet the needs of those value- and cost-conscious patients who were not using amplification via a custom hearing device.”

Dr Babu also stated that further development and investigation of these instruments is warranted, to provide a potential opportunity for greater numbers of persons with hearing loss to have access to hearing aids and reap the medical, social, and emotional benefits from improved communicative abilities.

Related Reading in HR:

MarkeTrak VIII: Utilization of PSAPs and Direct-Mail Hearing Aids by People with Hearing Impairment

The Secret Is Service: An Historical Perspective on Hearing Aids, PSAPs, and DTC Hearing aids

SOURCE: MDHearingAid