Fall is an exciting time for new products and services introductions, and this year’s IHS, ADA, and German EUHA conventions will showcase many of these offerings.
ADCO Hearing Products
This fall, ADCO is featuring the Clarity Pal®, a new amplified cell phone. The hearing-aid, Bluetooth capable phone has adjustable tone control for a customized listening experience and a speakerphone for hands-free conversations. The PAL also includes a 2-inch LCD color display with large, easy-to-read characters, a 250 name and number phonebook with zoom-in, three speed dial buttons, and a one-touch emergency button. In addition, the PAL offers nine ring tones and loud, vibrating, flashing ringers. The PAL is compatible with any unlocked GSM system like AT&T, T-mobile, and prepaid plans.
Amplivox is showcasing the Amplivox 260 diagnostic audiometer, featuring air, bone, and speech audiometry in a small compact design. Results can be saved to memory, printed with the optional printer, or transferred to PC with the optional NOAH interface. The 260 offers narrowband and speech weighted masking, along with a number of specialty tests. The talk forward/backward function can be used in a static environment or in an acoustic booth, making this unit flexible for various locations.
AuDBling has introduced two new designs. These designs support AuDBling’s mission to promote awareness about hearing loss and also create excitement surrounding getting treatment. The company says that these designs will be used on many different items in the near future, including bracelets using AuDBling’s cochlea shaped charm and heart charm.
Audina Hearing Instruments
Audina recently announced their new Cue® MRIC mini-BTE with the microphone and receiver in the canal, featuring Audina’s exclusive SoftTouch® technology, which allows the wearer to change memories with a touch to the ear. The Cue MRIC offers 12 channels with an advanced feedback canceller and environmental recognition system to provide clarity in speech. Designed for a comfortable fit, the soft flexible dome is available in open and closed versions as well as various sizes. No ear impressions needed. Options include a T-coil for use with loop or Bluetooth technology.
audifon extends its wireless portfolio with the addition of eox family. With real-time wireless streaming, eox allows customers to enjoy hands-free telephone communication, watch TV, or listen to their favorite music through their hearing systems. Moreover, easyclick binaural synchronization allows users to adjust volume and choose a program by touching one hearing system, making eox convenient and less conspicuous. With the audifon multistreamer, users are also able to connect to a multitude of electronic devices.
AudiologyDesign offers customized and professionally designed Web sites for audiology and hearing care practices. The company works to understand the goals hearing clients have for their practices and for their Web sites. The company specializes in building custom Web sites that reflect each practice’s unique service to patients, using four steps: Discover, Design, Develop, and Deploy. Demonstrations and Web site knowledge are available.
Avada Audiology and Hearing Care Centers
Avada Audiology and Hearing Care Centers, an operating subsidiary of Hearing Healthcare Management Inc, has just introduced the BluLink PHD MiniLink Di™. The hearing instruments are Avada’s first invisible in-the-canal hearing instruments. They combine the latest digital technology for a more natural hearing experience while hiding deep within the ear canal. The new line also features a powerful processor and Speech Shield, which is designed to allow the brain to recognize natural speech cues while blocking distracting noises, giving the user a better ability to focus on their conversation.
Bellman & Symfon
Bellman & Symfon has introduced a new range of alarm clocks. The clocks are designed with features to awaken the heaviest sleeper who has hearing loss. Features include high-intensity LED flashing lights, built-in night light, smart snooze functionality, and an ascending multiple-frequency alarm that can reach a level of more than 100 dB. The new clocks also are equipped with a bed shaker that, aside from waking up users with vibrations, emits a sound that can be heard through the pillow. The clock is available in three models: Classic, Pro, and Visit, which connects to the Bellman Visit™ alerting system.
Beltone’s True™ product portfolio now includes four circuit choices, multiple RIE and BTE options, and a full custom product line. They are the company’s first instruments to wirelessly receive sound directly from TV, cell/home phone, stereo, PC, and iPod, via a 2.4 GHz signal. This eliminates the need for traditional necklace-style devices. These instruments are designed to deliver high sound quality and virtually eliminate high-pitched whistling.
CounselEAR is featuring its online tool that is designed to improve patient counseling, increase physician referrals, and increase practice efficiency. The product enables audiologists to rapidly create customized counseling summaries, official audiologic reports, as well as chart notes that can be easily faxed or e-mailed in seconds to other facilities or clinicians. CounselEAR is compatible with Noah, Sycle.net, Blueprint, HearForm, and Simply Hearing, allowing users to transfer audiometric data with a few mouse clicks. The company also offers a free 30-day trial.
DreamZon offers LightOn, a cell phone alerting solution for those with hearing loss. It allows users to receive a visual alert notification for incoming SMS and voice/video calls on their mobile phones. LightOn can integrate with an optional bed shaker, allowing users to receive notifications while they are asleep. The product is battery operated and fully portable, allowing users to carry it with them when they travel. LightOn works with all existing mobile phones, and is designed for hands-free video chat (ASL). It is currently available in over 20 countries.
Ear Works Inc
Ear Works 5 is designed to be an easy, user-friendly OMS for the hearing industry that includes comprehensive features. Integrated with NOAH, Interacoustics, Otometrics, QuickBooks, and more, the software allows practices to go paper-free and manage the entire office without some information in one system and other information in others. As a stand-alone product, information remains in your control.
ExSilent is featuring Ytango, which has a patented design that places the microphone and receiver in the canal (MaRiC®). The outer ear is used to capture sound and project it into the microphone. This in-ear microphone preserves the natural tonal mechanism of the outer ear, reportedly enabling better hearing ability to understand speech in noisy conversations than with a traditional RiC. The deep placement of the microphone in the canal prevents wind noise and hair from rubbing against the microphone. Ytango has 12 bands, an adaptive feedback manager, and performs adaptive noise reduction.
Frye Electronics Inc
Frye is showcasing the new FONIX FP35 Touch. For perhaps the first time, the popular touch-screen AP navigation approach used in Android and iPhones has been applied to an audiometric instrument. The new FP35 Touch hearing aid analyzer enables instant access to all available coupler and real-ear measurement APs, as well as an intuitive user interface that allows smooth analysis. At IHS booth #205, George and Sallie Frye of Frye Electronics will highlight the new FP35 Touch in addition to the company’s FA10 dual-channel dispenser audiometer and reportedly the first true polar plot instrument, the 8000/8120.
Hansaton Acoustics adds AQ Slim BTE to its line of AQ Rechargeable Hearing Instruments. All Hansaton AQs offer rechargeable performance, 20 hours per charge, and a 5-year battery guarantee. The AQ Slim BTE also offers Hansaton’s latest sound processing technology, including wireless synchronization and Bluetooth connectivity. The AQ Family includes the New AQ Slim rechargeable BTE, the AQ Custom ITE, and the AQ X-Mini with the performance, smooth frequency response, and versatility of a receiver in the canal.
Health Enterprises Inc is introducing the Dri-Eze™ Hearing Aid Dehumidifier to remove damaging daily moisture that can cause a hearing aid to malfunction. Dri-Eze uses proprietary technology to prolong hearing aid life, improve sound quality, and help prevent costly repairs. The product is designed to avoid the need to recharge or reactivate a dehumidifier. Instead, users simply replace the unit with a new Dri-Eze Dehumidifier after 6 months of use.
Interacoustics is debuting its new AD629, a hybrid audiometer combined with the company’s Titan™ (multipurpose) handheld clinical impedance and OAE device with patented CE-Chirp® technology. The combination offers unlimited storage, according to the company, plus EMR integration, database compatibility with NOAH or Otoaccess, along with customized reports. Each unit can be used with a PC or as a stand-alone, offering the clinician complete flexibility that qualifies for clinical coding.
Maico has a wide range of audiometers on display at IHS, including the MA 33 PC-controlled audiometer with air and bone conduction testing. This dynamic audiometer is highly portable, weighing less than 1 pound and smaller than a laptop computer. The unit does not require power other than from the PC. Patient information can be stored in NOAH or the included Maico database, and speech can be tested via built-in wave file lists in English and Spanish. Special tests and counseling tools, such as SISI, QuickSIN™, the speech banana, and degree of hearing loss graph, also are available with a simple mouse click.
Hearing implant company MED-EL Corporation USA recently announced that its extended 5-year warranty on external equipment is now a permanent feature for all new cochlear implants. This is the longest warranty in the industry, according to the company. Products covered under the warranty include all OPUS audio processors, coils, battery packs, cables, DaCapo PowerPacks, and Fine Tuner™ remote controls. The manufacturer’s warranty is activated upon receipt of the Cochlear Implant System External Equipment Registration.
MedRx is highlighting its Live Speech Mapping, Real Ear Measurement System, the AVANT REMsp. The system features DSL and NAL-NAL2 targets for Live Speech Mapping and is designed for open-fit testing. Input levels can be viewed in either LTASS or peak hold mode and include built-in sound files (MP3). It also features a hearing loss simulator for third-party demonstrations. USB-powered and approximately 1×3 inches in size, REMsp is lightweight and portable. Standard accessories include a powered speaker, USB extender cable, and custom carrying case. AVANT REMsp is also NOAH™, Sycle.net, and TIMS® compatible.
Oaktree Products introduces the new LARK Wake-Up Wireless Wristband System. The LARK is described as a silent “un-alarm” clock with a sleep pattern sensor that tracks and analyzes the user’s sleep habits. Designed by sleep experts, the patent-pending technology nudges the user awake with smooth but effective rolling vibration. This Bluetooth technology works specifically with iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPhone (3GS, 4, and 4S), or iPad devices, and requires download of the free LARK Up app on an Apple device. The LARK is designed for individuals with hearing loss and others who have trouble waking in the morning.
Oticon’s new miniBTE style expands the Oticon Agil, Acto, and Ino families, offering a new set of compact, discreet, and high-performing BTEs. The new BTE styles were designed to be small, attractive, and easy-to-wear with excellent sound quality. The result is a sophisticated hearing solution with a high discreetness factor that reportedly delivers clear, undistorted sound for a natural listening experience. Oticon says that the discreet design and technologically advanced features are meant to appeal to new users, as well as existing users who are looking to upgrade to a more advanced cosmetic hearing solution.
Otometrics is featuring the new AURICAL, a complete, modular fitting solution that includes a true fitting audiometer, a wireless and binaural Probe Microphone Measurement (PMM) unit, counseling tools, and a HIT box that works independently or with other components. AURICAL also includes the company’s OTOsuite software, which integrates all of AURICAL’s features. Currently, the HIT box is pending FDA approval.
US-based Otovation enters the hearing aid test system market with OTOPro®. OTOPro is a software-controlled test chamber offering one-touch “SmartStart” testing, ISMADHA (ISTS) stimulus, external programming leads, and noise attenuation. Along with the available Real Ear Measurement system, coming soon, OTOPro is designed to quickly evaluate the most current hearing aid technology available. OTOPro performs 14 tests plus ISMADHA, and it accommodates various hearing instrument programming interfaces. While its design may be suitable for front office use, OTOPro also provides workflow efficiency and high throughput for the shop as well.
Sanibel is featuring its Probe Tubes, designed for use when performing real ear measurements (REM). Their universal connector makes them compatible with MedRx, Madsen, Interacoustics, Audioscan, Frye, and Siemens REM systems, according to the company. Each package comes with a storage tray that makes them easy to store and handle. The probe tube material is stiff, yet flexible for easy insertion into the ear canal. These single patient use probe tubes are made in the United States from biocompatible latex-free material.
Siemens Hearing Instruments
Siemens will highlight the new Eclipse™ XCEL, a deep-fit CIC hearing aid that utilizes a traditional impression procedure. Thanks to its custom shell and deep positioning, Eclipse is designed to virtually eliminate occlusion effects and offer a more natural hearing experience. Eclipse features a flexible soft dome that allows for a safe, comfortable, and deeper placement in the ear canal. With the new generation of BestSound™ Technology, Eclipse XCEL is designed to accelerate hearing aid acceptance by optimally balancing speech intelligibility and sound quality for each wearer.
Silent Call Communications
Silent Call Communications offers the new Communicator Receiver, designed to look like popular smart phones and clip to a waistband or placed in a pocket. The device can be charged with a regular charger or a USB. The Communicator has coded vibrations for each alert and LED icons. The 418 MHz technology works with Silent Call’s Signature Series transmitters, which include Doorbell, Sound Monitor, Smoke Detector, Carbon Monoxide Detector, Weather Alerting System with radio, and a telephone. When one of these transmitters is activated, it sends a signal to the receiver, which then vibrates, alerting the wearer.
Sonic is introducing Pep, a new entry-level hearing instrument designed for price-conscious consumers. Pep hearing comes in five instrument styles, including BTE, Power BTE, and custom models. Pep includes Sonic’s Speech Variable Processing platform with three configurable listening programs. It allows new hearing instrument wearers to focus on those situations they experience most frequently, including telephone conversations, while they become accustomed to wearing a hearing instrument. Pep is engineered for mild-to-severe hearing losses and can be fit with EXPRESSfit 2012.1, the latest version of Sonic’s fitting software.
SoundCure is featuring Serenade®, its sound therapy system for the relief of tinnitus. Designed to be simple to use and customized to each patient, Serenade’s digital signal processing system is based on the relationship between specific tonal algorithms and their effects. Serenade combines multiple sound therapy approaches in one device, offering three types of soft treatment sounds. It includes S-Tones®, novel, temporally patterned sounds customized to each patient; SleepAssist, for relief while sleeping; independent left/right volume controls; and data logging records of patient usage.
Starkey Hearing Technologies
Starkey introduces hands-free phone conversations with the company’s new SurfLink Mobile with JustTalk. Once synced with a wireless hearing aid wearer’s cell phone, SurfLink Mobile can answer incoming calls, control volume on both the phone and hearing aids, and more. The paired cell phone never needs to leave the user’s pocket, as JustTalk turns their hearing aids into both a microphone that picks up their voice and sends it to the person they are talking to, and a receiver, which streams the recipient’s voice directly to the user’s hearing aids.
HealthiPlan® is Sycle.net’s new patient financing program that offers flexible payment options designed to fit each patient’s budget. It allows hearing professionals to instantly pre-screen patients for financing before they arrive for their appointment. Users are able to submit patient information through Sycle for approval, get approved instantly, and receive payment within 72 hours. Fully integrated with Sycle.net, there is no paper, faxing, phone, or e-mail involved in the approval process. HealthiPlan is designed to increase revenue by allowing patients to finance the hearing aids that they may not be able to purchase with cash. There are no enrollment fees.
Unitron will be showcasing the new Quantum™ Pro and Moxi™ products at IHS. Powered by Era™, Pro premium hearing instruments are designed to automatically deliver better speech understanding, even in challenging listening situations. Binaural spatial processing in Pro is engineered to determine where speech is coming from. This is the same technology behind SpeechZone™, Unitron’s new feature that automatically zones in on speech from the front in noisy environments. The technology will be on display at Unitron’s booth at IHS.
Vision USA introduces Task Vision LED Lana Clip On Headlight with a universal clip that will attach to prescription glasses, laser safety glasses, or safety glasses. There is also a slide clip that will fit on the center of telescope loupes. This makes the LED Lana Clip On Headlight usable on different glasses needed by the clinician. The LED Lana clip-on headlight can be moved from loupe to prescription glasses, to laser safety glasses, or to safety glasses. And optional Lana Waterproof Loupes On Safety Glasses meet ANSI Z-87.1+ safety requirements and are waterproof to ensure ease of cleaning and disinfecting.
Vitra International is featuring its Metal Otoscope, designed for performance, ease of use, and longer life. Features include durable and sturdy metal body, matte-chrome-plated body, fiber-optic illumination, XHL Xenon, halogen technology, scratch resistant glass, three disposable speculas of various sizes, parachute pouch, and optional plastic case.
Widex is highlighting the new IIC Invisible-In-Canal model, which offers a combination of sound quality with a completely invisible hearing aid. With IIC, Widex says it now offers a full line of hearing aids to suit wearers with all types of hearing loss. Because IIC is tailor-made for each individual hearing aid wearer with the company’s patented CAMISHA system, the IIC can offer hearing aid users precision customization. IIC models have an integrated faceplate that allows the customized hearing aid to be as small as possible and provide comfort for patients.