Randy Morgan
Westone Laboratories Inc

HR recently spoke with Randy Morgan, president of Westone Laboratories Inc, Colorado Springs, Colo, about his company’s latest product developments.

Tell us about some of Westone’s new products.
Westone has added a number of new products and options to our catalog recently. Perhaps the most exciting is our new Oto-Swyrl™ earmold material, which solves the problem of choosing between bright colors or strength. Starting with our Oto-Clear water-clear silicone material and utilizing advanced techniques recently developed in our laboratory, we are now able to offer high strength, brightly colored silicone in virtually any earmold style.

On the supply side, we recently introduced LevelEar™, a very handy tool used to mark impressions for more precise placement of hearing instrument microphones. We also now offer a redesigned UM1, our entry-level universal fit monitor, and more attractive and “shelf-friendly” packaging for the entire product line.

How do you utilize technology in your product development?
We make a significant investment each year in improving Westone’s internal technology and production capabilities. We continually review technological advances, both within our industry and those outside our industry that may have a related application, to see how they might improve our current processes or launch us into new areas and products. We are proud that many other industry leaders have recognized this capacity by bringing their new products to us for custom solutions. Just such a cooperative effort between Westone and the Air Force Research Laboratory led to our ACCES technology being used aboard SpaceShip One, the first privately manned spaceship to reach 328,491 feet.

What’s next for Westone?
At Westone, we believe we owe it to our loyal customers to always keep at least one eye on the horizon. Technology has been changing rapidly in the last few years and Westone is uniquely positioned to change with it as we move forward. We have some exciting developments already in the pipeline, and after that? You just never know, but that’s one of the exciting things about this industry. You’ll have to join us for the ride to find out.

 Ron Perlt
Vice President
Maico Diagnostics

Since 1937, Maico Diagnostics, Eden Prairie, Minn, has been serving the hearing health care community. Ron Perlt, vice president of Maico Diagnostics, recently spoke with HR about where Maico is headed in the near future and why customers stay loyal to Maico products.

What role does Maico Diagnostics play in the hearing care market?
Maico’s niche market is hearing screening. We see our role as the hearing screening “gatekeepers”—that is, testing with our products is the first step in determining hearing health. If there is an issue at the screening level, then you move on to a set of diagnostic testing products. While our equipment can be used with any age group, many of our products are designed for screening during the developmental hearing stage, like with newborns, small children, and school-aged children.

What can we expect from Maico in the next 5 years?
You can expect technology that is very fast, provides accurate results, and is easy to use. For example, we are developing a new handheld ABR screener for newborns that is unlike the traditional ABR—it doesn’t use standard electrodes. The advantages to this new concept are not only a significantly lower cost of disposables or none at all, but also gentler administration of the test for the infant. Along with these physical advantages, there is completely new software that will reduce testing time.

What keeps your customers coming back?
Maico Diagnostics has been manufacturing hearing testing equipment since 1937. So, through the years, people have seen our stability and the reliable performance of our equipment and come to expect it of us. We’ve also been fortunate to have some really innovative products like the EroScan for OAE testing. We’ve led the market in OAE screening and hearing screening instruments and we’ll continue to expect that of ourselves.