Jacoti BV, a Belgian-based medical technology company, announced the immediate licensing availability of OTC Ready, Jacoti’s hearing software platform. According to the company, OTC Ready helps enable headphone/earbud manufacturers using the Qualcomm 51XX SoC to address the “likely requirements of the upcoming US over-the-counter hearing aid market.” Comprising an audiologically-based pure-tone hearing test, NAL-based hearing loss compensation, and Medical Device company registration in both the US and Europe, OTC Ready helps “enable companies to create unique, powerful, and affordable hearing devices for the vast untapped market of consumers with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.”
“Because they are so expensive and require visits to an audiologist, conventional hearing aids are rarely used by the nearly 25 million Americans with mild-to-moderate hearing loss,” said Jacques Kinsbergen, founder and CEO of Jacoti.
To encourage wider use of hearing technology, the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 requires the FDA to create and regulate a category of medical-grade over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids suitable for mild-to-moderate losses.
To help address the challenges of OTC hearing aid capabilities, Jacoti partnered with Qualcomm to embed its technology in Qualcomm’s QCC 51XX series, a System on a Chip (SoC) that is used to create wireless stereo headsets and earbuds for the consumer market.
In order to differentiate their products from competitors and to enrich the overall consumer experience, many companies see an opportunity to “tune” their headsets and earbuds to the precise and unique needs of their customers, according to Jacoti. Many of these devices also have ear-level microphones and built-in signal processing to drive active noise cancellation (ANC) features as well as a “live mode” in which the mics can capture environmental sounds and personalize the sound.
- Utilizing these mics, Jacoti’s algorithms help “enable a company to create a hearing device that is of genuine benefit for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.” In addition, unlike traditional hearing aids, which typically have a frequency response of up to ~8 kHz, Jacoti’s OTC Ready platform takes advantage of the “full frequency range of consumer technology (up to 20kHz), an improvement over conventional hearing aids that will provide additional enjoyment to music lovers.”