SchneiderDavid S. Schneider
Entific Medical Systems Inc

Entific Medical Systems Inc is a hearing implant manufacturer based in Powell, Ohio. HR recently interviewed David S. Schneider, president, about the company’s product line.

What are the products your company specializes in?
Entific manufactures two product lines, both based on osseointegration – titanium implants integrated with living tissue. Face to Face™ is a prostheses retention system designed to improve anchorage and cosmetic outcomes by providing a stable means of attaching prostheses through osseointegration.The BAHA® system is the only implanted treatment for hearing loss that works through direct bone conduction. Consisting of an implanted titanium fixture, an external connecting abutment, and a detachable sound processor, the BAHA system treats adults and children age five years and older with mixed or conductive hearing loss as well as unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, also known as single sided deafness. For children under age five, Entific offers the BAHA® Softband, which uses an adjustable elastic band to hold the sound processor comfortably against a child’s skull, allowing them to experience the benefits of the BAHA until they are old enough to receive the complete system.

How is your company responding to current hearing industry trends?
Entific Medical Systems does monitor trends within the hearing industry, but our focus remains on improving the BAHA system and expanding its FDA indications without comparing our product with what hearing aid manufacturers are doing. Our patients rely on us to provide them with a solution that no other product can. Of course, Entific is always concerned with how we can make the BAHA system better for those who use it, but the information we rely on to determine product changes or enhancements comes from our wearers. By listening to how we can better help them, we continue to strengthen the BAHA system and deliver a quality treatment option to our patients.

What role does technology play in your company, in terms of product development?
The search for better technology is a never-ending job for Entific. Our ability to evolve and incorporate new technologies is critical to providing patients with the best product possible.

GanguliGora Ganguli
Senior Vice President and
General Manager
Gennum Corp

Gennum Corp is a semiconductor products company based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. HR recently interviewed Gora Ganguli, senior vice president and general manager of the Hearing Instrument Products Division.

What role does new technology play in your company’s product development?
It’s ultimately the effective use of technology and not technology itself that creates value in any marketplace. That being said, the semiconductor technologies have been moving forward in leaps and bounds and provide enormous potential for future value creation. Gennum has invested heavily in design infrastructure, tools, and people in order to be at the forefront of technology and translate it into powerful but cost-effective, flexible, and easy-to-use solutions for our customers.

What are some trends you are currently following, and how is your company responding to them?
Getting new solutions and product ideas to market is becoming more and more software-based, reducing the number of expensive and time-consuming chip development cycles. Programmable platforms will ultimately dominate but the hearing instrument market has special needs, like ultra low power consumption and small size, that make platform design very challenging. Our next generation DSP architecture will take the open platform concept to a new level. In the excitement of new technologies it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the basics. Sound quality or audio fidelity was an early casualty of the trend to digital hearing instruments. The industry now appears to be putting renewed focus on sound quality.

What products that you are currently excited about?
Our Duet Digital, being launched in early December, is a DSP system targeted to the upper end of the hearing instrument market. It incorporates our Frontwave directional technology, WDRC, adaptive feedback suppression, and features an adaptive noise reduction algorithm. It provides a reduction in the level of perceived noise, but affects the speech content less than other noise reduction techniques. Of course, the imminent introductions of our next generation DSP and our ultra low power wireless platforms are cause for excitement as well.