Briefs | March 2014 Hearing Review

Oticon Medical Scientific Conference Connects Audiology, Otology, Neurotology ScientificMeeting

Oticon Medical recently held the company’s largest scientific conference to date, the third in a series of annual professional gatherings to explore advances, research, and future direction in hearing implant systems.

More than 90 prominent clinicians, researchers, and thought leaders in otology/neurotology and audiology representing 24 countries attended the 3-day conference held at Oticon Medical headquarters in Copenhagen. The conference combined reports on the newest data and observations from the clinical world with discussion and presentations on advances in tissue preservation surgery and next-generation sound processor technologies that improve patient outcomes.

“Oticon Medical is a company committed to creating new possibilities and more choice in hearing implant solutions that optimize lifelong patient outcomes,” says Oticon Medical President Jes Olsen. “Our scientific forums provide unique opportunities for clinicians to acquire new competencies, skills, theoretical foundations, and methods with the potential to increase patient acceptance and satisfaction now and in the future.

$2.88 Billion Spent on Kids’ Ear Infections

Acute otitis media (AOM), or ear infection, is also the most common reason for antibiotic use among all children. That’s why the costs associated with AOM are under more scrutiny than ever by healthcare and government administrators.

While estimates of the economic impact of AOM have been formulated in the past, a new study by researchers at UCLA and Harvard University is the first to use a national population database that gives a direct, head-to-head comparison of expenditures for pediatric patients diagnosed with ear infections and similar patients without ear infections.

The findings show that AOM is associated with significant increases in direct costs incurred by consumers and the healthcare system. With its high prevalence across the United States, pediatric AOM accounts for approximately $2.88 billion in added healthcare expenses annually and is a significant healthcare utilization concern. The research is published in The Laryngoscope.

“Although the annual incidence of ear infection may be declining in the United States, the number of kids affected remains high, and the public health implications of AOM are substantial,” says study coauthor Nina Shapiro, MD, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children’s Hospital, UCLA, and professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “As our health care system continues to be vigorously discussed around the nation, efforts to control costs and allocate resources appropriately are of prime importance.”

Original citation for this article: Information please. Hearing Review. 2014;21(3):56.