More than 180 US hearing care professionals gathered at OtiCongress 2016 in Sydney, Australia to explore the newest research, technology, trends, and perspectives on hearing care delivery. The conference, held October 17 – 26, gave participants the opportunity to combine a unique knowledge-sharing experience with a humanitarian mission to remote, rural communities on the island republic of Fiji.
“Our aim was to open up a world of new thinking about paradigm-shifting hearing solutions that go far beyond hearing benefits to also deliver exciting added functionalities, such as internet connections and access to the IFTTT network,” said Oticon President Gary Rosenblum. “In both seminars and informal discussions throughout OtiCongress, one consistent message came through – the continued importance of excellent technology and the critical role of the hearing care professional in the fitting process.”
Among the new research shared with OtiCongress participants was a recent study from Eriksholm Research Centre that showed the superiority of hearing aids over PSAPs. The study, which compared two premium PSAPs against the Alta2 Pro hearing aid, prompted discussion of the current US regulatory environment and the need for future studies to explore how this issue impacts the profession and will be managed going forward.
Following completion of the education session, participants shifted focus to the OtiCongress humanitarian mission to benefit Project H.E.A.V.E.N., a Charitable Trust Organization serving the needs of impoverished populations in Fiji’s remote, rural communities. The non-profit Oticon Hearing Foundation arranged a series of daily clinics for the hearing care volunteers to provide hearing screenings for more than 1,000 villagers. The volunteers fit more than 160 hearing aids on local children and adults, working side-by-side with Dr Kitione Rawalai, Project H.E.A.V.E.N. representative for Hearing and Vision Enhancement, and his staff.
The Oticon Hearing Foundation reportedly donated more than 220 hearing aids and an array of audiological equipment and software. The volunteer team conducted training sessions on the new equipment with Project H.E.A.V.E.N. staff to enable on-going hearing care for Fiji’s neediest communities. Oticon Inc says it will continue to support the work of Project H.E.A.V.E.N. through the Oticon Hearing Foundation that promotes sustainable improvements in access to hearing care for in-need people and communities worldwide. Learn more about the Oticon Hearing Foundation’s support of hearing care professionals participating in humanitarian missions around the world at the Foundation’s website.