HR‘s annual corporate review of events and new products from the industry’s perspective, and what may be in store for 2009.

The year 2008 brought many new products, events, and landmarks to the hearing industry. As the year comes to a close, The Hearing Review asked several companies to comment on what they viewed as their major achievements, milestones, and corporate highlights during 2008, and what products, services, and announcements might be expected from their companies during 2009. Here’s a look from their perspective on the past year and the year to come. Additionally, the “HR Headlines” provide a sampling of just a few of the news items, announcements, and related articles that made it onto the pages of HR during 2008. For more information on these companies’ products and offerings, use the contact information at the end of each company entry.

AHAA

Looking Back at 2008 …

American Hearing Aid Associates (AHAA) is the industry’s leading provider of business and marketing planning services. Founded in 1995, AHAA offers its nationwide network of more than 2,000 independent hearing health care professionals (Associates) a virtual franchise without loss of their autonomy.

The major “buzz” at AHAA’s annual convention in February came from enhancements AHAA introduced to its Expansion Network (AEN) based on input from its network Associates. The improved service features a more focused and definitive professional development and guidance program for five groups or tracks of individuals who work in most practices. The AEN helps Associates grow their practices to multimillion-dollar levels with improvements in organizational design, hiring, training, tracking, operations, and finance.

Also, through AHAA’s Expansion Network, small, noncompeting groups of its Associates continued to meet regularly in their local regions to discuss common issues. Goals included improving effectiveness and profitability.

This year, AHAA continued expanding its expert field staff of more than 30 Associate Managers around the country who help Associates customize business and marketing plans and train owners and staff.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

HR HEADLINES

  • Converting Incoming Phone Calls into Lifelong Customers, by Cliff Steinberg. July 2008 HR, pgs 28-29.
  • Using PDRs to Bring in Referrals, by Shannon White. September 2008 HR, pgs 18-23.
  • AHAA Makes Executive Changes. April 3, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • AHAA 12th Annual Convention to Be Held in February. January 2008 HR, p 60.
  • Over 400 Attend AHAA Convention. February 21, 2008 HR The Insider.

AHAA will hold its 13th annual convention on February 25 to 28 in Nashville, La. More than 450 are expected to attend a program focused on all aspects of running a practice.

Also, AHAA will refurbish its AHAABizlink Web site; new services will include online training courses. AHAA will continue expanding its marketing services, including additional branded marketing campaigns and marketing programs for consumers who do not buy after testing. AHAA also plans new training courses for directors of operation, practice development managers, and telemarketers.

Contact AHAA today to join its dynamic network of Associates.

American Hearing Aid Associates
West Chester, Pa
www.ahaabizlink.com; (800) 984-3272


Audioscan

Looking Back at 2008 …

2008 was a great year for Audioscan. We conducted dozens of workshops across the country and had yet another year of sales growth! More and more people are realizing that a hearing instrument fitting system is a business necessity and that the Verifit and RM500SL are best-in-class products.

We also introduced the Viewport software update for the Verifit. This suite of four tests allows you to characterize digital instrument performance on one screen or printout. Audibility, directionality, noise reduction, and feedback management are all covered. We believe this “snapshot” of digital performance will become the industry standard for evidence-based practice. As with all Audioscan software updates, Viewport is a free download!

Moving Forward to 2009 …

HR HEADLINES

  • Now Available: New Digital Instrument Testing Suite for the Verifit. February 21, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Diagnostics Goes Digital, by C.A. Wolski. January/February HPR.
  • How Hearing Aids May Be Set for Different Languages, by Marshall Chasin, AuD, MSc. October 2008 HR.
  • How Suite It Is (Audioscan Viewport). July/August HPR Product Showcase.

In 2009, we will be releasing an important new update that will allow fitters to test the latest in hearing aid technology. We work hard to provide the tools to objectively measure every function of digital aids, because if there’s no way to measure, there’s no way to fit with confidence.

In 2009, we want people to take a fresh look at Audioscan digital instrument fitting systems because, just as digitals have revolutionized the hearing aid industry, we’ve revolutionized the testing, fitting, and counseling of digital aids. Call your representative for a quick demonstration. You won’t be disappointed!

Audioscan
Dorchester, Ontario, Canada
www.audioscan.com; (800) 265-2093


Bernafon LLC

Looking Back at 2008 …

This year, Bernafon had much success with the introduction of Brite to the US market. People were drawn to Brite because of its ergonomic design, cosmetic appeal, and ability to provide a natural and stimulating hearing experience. As a result of the Brite promotions for 2008, Bernafon became the first company within the hearing care industry to release a 30-minute television video for viewing in the consumer market. Bernafon also reinforced its commitment as a company that values customer service and support by extending service hours. Customer service staff are now available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 8 pm EST in order to service customers throughout the United States.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

For 2009, Bernafon has developed innovative partnership programs, including an Authorized Dispenser Program, designed to help independent practitioners develop and secure business in their local markets. Bernafon looks forward to the release of the ADP program to the marketplace and will draw upon its background in Swiss engineering, customer focus, and passion for hearing to build the foundation for another successful year.

HR HEADLINES

  • Bernafon Debuts Avanti and Brite Products at EUHA. October 14, 2008 HR Online News.
  • [email protected]! Bernafon: Brite & Move. May/June HPR.
  • Bernafon Wins Prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2007. November 20, 2007 HR Online News.

Bernafon LLC
Somerset, NJ
www.bernafon-us.com; (888) 941-4203


Chicago Advertising & Marketing

Looking Back at 2008 …

Home of the Liberty Mailer.” Chicago Advertising & Marketing has been a leader in direct-mail marketing since 1995. Looking back on 2008, CAM continued to bring their effective direct mail campaigns to a wider audience, with their expansion in 2007 into designing mailers for independent hearing aid franchises as well as their Beltone and Miracle-Ear clients.

George and Cerise Escobedo, Owners

The company has also been working with Miracle-Ear Corporate in order to provide their clients with Corporate-approved mailers. Keep an eye out in 2009 for many new and exciting corporate-approved pieces!

Due to the overwhelming success of our 25¢ Liberty Mailer Promotions in 2008, we will be sure to bring it back some time in 2009. And we’ll get your advertising in homes before your competitor does, with our incredible 48-hour turnaround. Don’t forget to check out our Web site—where you can see our mailers and special offers. Click on “Monthly Mailers” to see what’s new at CAM. We will be offering numerous money-saving specials that you won’t want to miss out on in 2009!

Moving Forward to 2009 …

We look forward to meeting many of you at the hearing aid conventions in 2009! When you see us there, ask one of our friendly representatives about the CAM Cycle or our E-Z Payment Plan. We’re proud to say that the effectiveness of the CAM Cycle and the convenience of our E-Z Payment Plans are what set us apart from many of our competitors.

HR HEADLINES

  • How to Capture More of Your Market Share and Increase Your Business. July 2008 HR.
  • Unique Mail Pieces Available, May/June HPR Issue Reports.

Chicago Advertising & Marketing
Yorkville, Ill
www.campromotions.net; (800) 778-9300


Discovery Hearing Aid Warranties

Looking Back at 2008 …

Discovery Hearing Aid Warranties looks back on 2008 as a year of healthy growth in a challenging economic climate. More dispensers nationwide became part of Discovery’s network because they know the critical importance of protecting clients’ hearing aid investments. Discovery also responded to today’s more cautious consumer by adding emphasis to its 6-month warranty option. This budget-friendly alternative allows warranty owners to pay premiums on a semi-annual basis.

Discovery recognized dispensers’ efforts with a monthly incentive program to reward achievements. In addition, the company has kept an industry presence with exhibits at state and national trade shows. Shipping hearing aids to Discovery has been streamlined by using FedEx for its reliability and detailed tracking system.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

Discovery begins 2009 with a completely redesigned dispenser brochure (shown here), giving new dispensers a complete overview of the warranty program. The brochure uses a series of true-and-false questions and includes an enrollment application. All marketing materials are also provided at no cost. Dispensers who have worked with Discovery find the program helps them generate greater revenues, protect clients’ investments, and foster long-term dispenser-client relationships.

A revised incentive program for 2009 will continue to recognize leading dispensers for their efforts. Plans also call for a new consumer brochure to debut in spring 2009.

Discovery Hearing Aid Warranties
Mobile, Ala
www.discoverywarranties.com; (800) 525-7936

HR HEADLINES

  • HR‘s 2008 AAA Walking Tour, March 2008 Supplement.
  • IHS Convention Preview. August 2008 HR.
  • ADA Convention Preview. October 2008 HR.


Frye Electronics

Looking Back at 2008 …

Frye Electronics made major improvements to the FONIX FP35 Analyzer. The FP35 now has a new Integrated Probe Microphone that is smaller, lighter, and more adjustable. In addition, it has a line-in connector for a CD player. That makes it especially useful for the Visible Speech program. Prior to that introduction, new software provided an improved interface with simplified menus and a cleaner display for those who choose EASY rather than Advanced for their MENU choice.

In 2008 we started giving the Open Fit coupler free of charge with all new 7000s. The new Probe microphone for the 7000 was introduced, and the Visible Speech program was expanded and improved.

Many improvements were made to our computer programs. The much requested DSL 5 targets were added to the FONIX NOAH Real-Ear Module so it can be used with all 7000s and current FP35s. (This module can also be used with 6500-CX and FP40 units, provided they have the RS232 Connection and the required software version.) The FONIX NOAH Audiometer Module was also improved. “Auto Baud” functionality helps the user automatically detect and connect to the FONIX Audiometer. The pop-up Menu feature provides great User interface improvements.

HR HEADLINES

  • Digital Noise Reduction Processing in Hearing Aids: How Much and Where? by Sridhar Krishnamurti, PhD, and Lindsey Anderson, BS. March 2008 HR.
  • How to Perform Real-Ear Measurements on Open-Fit Hearing Aids. July HR.
  • FONIX FP35 Hearing Aid Analyzer. HR/HPR 2008 International Edition.
  • FONIX NOAH Module. May/June HPR Product Showcase.
  • Hearing Aids Are Not All Created Equal. August 14, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • New Software Version for Fonix FP35 Analyzer. September 2008 HPR.

Our instruments were displayed at many meetings, including the AAA, the IHS, and the EUHA, as well as many other smaller meetings.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

Frye Electronics has been chosen by NAL (National Acoustics Lab in Australia) to build and sell HEARLab. This device will be used to fit hearing aids on infants using Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials. Tonal stimuli and speech sounds are used. It will also be very useful for testing adults or special needs children whose responses to normal testing are unreliable. We expect to be able to market it early in 2009. There is a great deal of interest in it because it is easy to use and has been well tested by the people at NAL.

Frye Electronics
Tigard, Ore
www.frye.com; (800) 547-8209


Interacoustics

Looking Back at 2008 …

This year saw a new generation of our Hearing Aid Fitting Platform. The Affinity2.0 with its all-in-one package of audiometry, REM, HA testing and counseling tools has appealed to professionals looking for a complete, compact, and convenient testing and fitting solution. The new Affinity2.0 takes advantage of the Affinity suite application with its intuitive and user-friendly appearance as well as seamless workflow.

Additionally, the new clinical PC-based audiometer Equinox2.0 was launched and has strengthened its position as one of the foremost clinical audiometers. It performs the whole range of standard clinical tests with seamless integration into electronic medical records, completely flexible print layouts, PTA calculations, and holds a built-in amplifier—up to 90dB speech in Free Field. Further­more, built-in wave files (including VA lists), overlay of historical audiograms, and optional high frequency tests up to 20kHz.

A new generation of our Balance-testing system VO425 was introduced, which takes advantage of greatly increased transmission speed to achieve real-time analysis and high-quality video. Newly designed goggles provide greater patient comfort and connect directly to a laptop, making the system easily portable.

A good year, with introduction of three new products and growth in our core products!

HR HEADLINES

  • Auditory Steady-State Response (ASSR): A Beginner’s Guide, by Douglas L. Beck, AuD; David P. Speidel, MS; and Michelle Petrak, PhD. November 2007 HR.
  • New Wideband Tympanometry System Being Tested by Interacoustics February 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Interacoustics Middle Ear Analyzer Steps Up. July 3, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • How to Make the Most of a Counseling Tool That Employs Visible Speech and REM. July 2008 HR.
  • Interacoustics Middle Ear Analyzer Steps Up. October 2008 HPR Product Guide.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

The expansion of 2008 will translate into an even better service in 2009. Our Hearing and Balance portfolio will expand and we will continue to design, develop, and deliver flexible, high-quality solutions specifically for audiologists and allied professionals working in hearing health care.

Interacoustics
Eden Prairie, Minn
www.interacoustics-us.com; (800) 947-6334


Maico Diagnostics

Looking Back at 2008 …

Maico Diagnostics, the industry leader in hearing screening equipment, had another successful year in 2008 with continued growth from its EroScan hearing screening product line to the launch of the new Maestro PC-based audiometer. Maico Diagnostics, the trusted name in hearing screening, is now expanding to service the clinical needs of the audiologist.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

As our product line grows, look for great new technologies in the handheld OAE/Tymp market. Soon to launch, the exciting new EroScan Pro, the world’s only handheld OAE/ Tymp unit. Maico, trusted technology in hearing screening and dedicated customer service.

HR HEADLINES

  • How to Conduct Standard Audiometer Tests in the Clinic More Efficiently. July 2008 HR.

Maico Diagnostics
Eden Prairie, Minn
www.maico-diagnostics.com; (888) 941-4201


MED-EL Corp

Looking Back at 2008 …

This year marked a number of milestones for worldwide hearing implant leader MED-EL and the technological breakthroughs that the company brought to the US market.

A highlight was the launch of the MAESTRO™ Cochlear Implant System. In addition to hearing in “high definition” with FineHearing™, the MAESTRO system offers the smallest internal implant and the thinnest, lightest, externally worn speech processor available, the OPUS 2. Approved by the FDA in April, the OPUS 2 is the first speech processor designed for switch-free operation, with special features for bilaterally implanted listeners. The FDA also approved the rechargeable DaCapo battery and charging system, reducing processor weight by another 20% without limiting performance—all while “going green!”

Moving Forward to 2009 …

HR HEADLINES

  • Soundbridge Scrutinized in Clinical Trial. January 31, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • New Children’s Book about Cochlear Implants Now Available (Abby Gets a Cochlear Implant). April 23, 2008 HR Online News.
  • MED-ELs OPUS 2 Speech Processor Receives FDA Approval. April 24, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • FDA Approves Med-El’s DaCapo Battery. May 20, 2008 HR Online News.
  • New Cochlear Implant Tunes into “High Def.” July 8, 2008 HR Online News.
  • MED-EL Releases New Data on MAESTRO. July 17, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • From Sound to Silence and Back, by Alan Ruskin. October 2008 HPR.

MED-EL is excited to bring to market even more products and services that enhance the hearing experience born of the company’s intense focus on research and development. In 2009, earlier-generation MED-EL users can look forward to “backward compatible” MAESTRO software, so that they can enjoy the new technology offered with the OPUS line of speech processors without replacing their implant. The company will continue its research efforts surrounding “hybrid” technology Electric-Acoustic System (EAS) and expanded indications for the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE® Middle Ear Implant, both current US clinical trials. As always, surgeons, audiologists, and implant recipients will benefit from working with MED-EL’s clinical team of audiology specialists to advance the field of hearing implant technology.

MED-EL Corp
Durham, NC
www.medel.com; (888) 633-3524


Oticon Inc

Looking Back at 2008 …

Oticon’s ultra-fast RISE technology represents the state of the art in a sound processing microchip—the first to be built from the ground up with wireless connectivity as its key component.

Introduced in the spring, Oticon VIGO offers two full product lines at two distinct price points—totally redefining what hearing care professionals can offer patients looking for a mid-priced hearing solution:

Oticon RITE Power solutions—new Epoq RITE Power and Vigo RITE Power—deliver many “firsts” to Power users, including superior performance to enable them to hear more and understand more. The new solutions provide an exciting combination of discreet cosmetics, light comfortable fit, and high-end features, including wireless connectivity to enable power users to finally hear where they otherwise never could.

Introduced in October, Oticon Dual is the first hearing device to give people a full inventory of high-end audiological benefits in a discreet and stylish micro BTE. Dual’s small, sleek style is just what people want to wear—and it especially helps new users overcome resistance to using amplification. Dual’s breakthrough performance exceeds the expectations of experienced users and, for the first time, gives them all of the performance they need in a design they have always wanted.

Consumer-tested and -proven ads, inserts, and direct mail materials, and the hands-on support of Oticon regional marketing managers, make Oticon’s Consumer Marketing Partnership program one of the most successful in the industry. Campaigns tailored to the needs of individual practices drive interest and motivate trial among new and experienced users.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

In 2009, Oticon will continue to develop innovative hearing solutions that maximize the potential of RISE’s superior sound processing and will support new introductions with the industry’s most exciting consumer marketing campaigns.

HR HEADLINES

  • Extended Bandwidths in Hearing Aids, by Douglas L. Beck, AuD, and Jes Olsen. October 2008 HR.
  • 165 Attend Oticon Marketing Boot Camp. June 30, 2008 HR Online.
  • Oticon Launches FM Solution (Amigo R12). June 12, 2008 HR Online.
  • Oticon Pediatrics Launched as Distinct Brand. April 3, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • New Management Team Appointed at Oticon A/S (Nielsen & Worning). September 2008 HR The Insider.

Oticon Inc
Somerset, NJ
www.oticonusa.com; (800) 526-3921


Phonak

Looking Back at 2008 …

In 2008, Phonak launched an entirely new product platform. CORE technology is the most sophisticated audio-processing platform ever introduced to the hearing instrument industry. Exelia, the premium product launched in early 2008, set a new benchmark in performance, control, and connectivity. This remarkable product represents a new paradigm in hearing excellence with a unique combination of cutting-edge technology, audiological expertise, and wireless connectivity. The benefits of these groundbreaking technological advances are unprecedented hearing performance and user interaction, with easy access to modern communication and entertainment systems.

Also launched in early 2008 was a new power hearing instrument. Naida empowers consumers with significant hearing loss with the freedom to forget their dependence on amplification and the confidence to communicate in all environments. Thanks to SoundRecover, Naida restores high-frequency audibility, resulting in exceptional audibility and clarity for individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss.

Versata and Certena complete the CORE platform. Versata in the advanced segment, and Certena in the basic segment, provide a CORE product for every lifestyle, hearing loss, personal preference, age, and budget. All CORE products offer SoundFlow, an innovative automatic blending technology resulting in smooth, seamless program transitions in all situations. WhistleBlock technology affords up to 20 dB added stable gain, and all products offer full connectivity options, including cable-free fitting.

HR HEADLINES

  • Reported Hearing Aid Use Versus Datalogging in a VA Population, by Patricia Gaffney, AuD. June 2008 HR.
  • Phonak Introduces Exelia. February 14, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Phonak Adds Six New Products and Technologies to Offerings. April 10, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Phonak Announces 3rd European Pediatric Conference. July 10, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Phonak Expands Junior Fitting Mode. August 7, 2008 HR The Insider.

Phonak has also expanded its custom product line on the CORE platform to include both a Power CIC and Acoustically Optimized Venting (AOV) on all custom products. AOV are calculated for each fitting, and result in a smoother frequency response, significantly reduced occlusion, and exceptionally small instruments.

Phonak is dedicated to developing the most innovative technology and is proud to deliver state-of-the-art communication solutions. Visit www.phonakpro.com to view the online product information opportunities available now.

Phonak Hearing Systems
Warrenville, Ill
www.phonak-us.com; (800) 777-7333


Pulse MedTech Group

Looking Back at 2008 …

The Pulse MedTech Group continued its ongoing development of innovative, groundbreaking products and solutions for hearing aids.

The DCU Scroller is one of its latest high-quality components. It provides a simple, yet discreet method for adjusting hearing aid volume by using an easy touch, linear scroll. The body diameter, just 3.8mm (0.15 inch), fits hearing devices for both behind the ear (BTE) and in the ear (ITE).

The push-button PB 100 Click is another notable component intended for ITEs and BTEs where space is vital. Having a diameter of just 1.9mm (0.075 inch), it is the smallest tactile switch available for hearing aids. Without compromising on quality, the detent function has a tactile and discreet click when the button is pressed.

Pulse’s 4000 Series includes the world’s smallest dual re­ceivers, at just 26.5mm3 (0.297 x 0.106 x 0.077 inches). It excels in low vibration that enables higher gain and output levels in many RIC and CIC systems.

The company’s 8800 Microphone Series, to be used in both communication equipment and hearing aids, features an improved power-supply rejection ratio, ultrasound suppression, and sensitivity, and less noise compared to standard microphones. The 8800 series is a step forward in microphones and underscores Pulse’s commitment to bringing innovative devices into this market.

HR HEADLINES

  • Technitrol to Acquire Sonion A/S for $385 Million. January 17, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Technitrol Completes Acquisition of Sonion A/S. March 12, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Digital Volume Control (DCU Scroller). March/April 2008 HPR.
  • HIA Participates in Congressional “Shoot-Out.” May 22, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Sonion Businesses to Be Renamed Pulse. July 24, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Pulse Exhibits Components for Hearing Instruments at EUHA. October 16, 2008 HR Online News.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

2009 will continue to offer opportunities for even more innovative products at Pulse. Its customers rely on a close partnership with Pulse when developing new, leading-edge products.

Pulse, a Technitrol Company
Minnetonka, Minn
www.pulseeng.com/medtech; (952) 543-8300


Rayovac

Looking Back at 2008 …

Rayovac launched Rayovac Extreme Performance to the market in 2008. Drawing on 70 years of technical expertise in the hearing industry, this latest innovation set new standards of hearing aid battery power performance. In addition, Rayovac announced the addition of a new Hearing Aid Battery Accessory program. This portfolio offers hearing care professionals the opportunity to provide tools to their patients that assist in handling, carrying, and testing batteries.

HR HEADLINES

  • Power Up: Hearing Aid Batteries Enter the Era of Mini-BTEs and Wireless Devices, by Karl E. Strom. April 2008 HR.
  • Long-Lasting Batteries (ProLine Advanced). January/February 2008 HPR.
  • HIA Annual Meeting Explores Turning Silver into Gold. April 2008 HR.
  • AudiologyNEW @ AudiologyNOW: Rayovac Mercury Free and Extreme Performance. May/June 2008 HPR.
  • Rayovac Launching Mercury-Free Battery Line. March/April 2008 HPR.
  • How to Provide Your Patients with the Best Power Source. July 2008 HR.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

Early in the year, Rayovac will begin shipping a new, proprietary battery design including a nickel-clad stainless steel casing. This revolutionary product offers an innovative solution to the problem of battery corrosion, which can affect battery performance in hearing devices and, ultimately, end user satisfaction. The new design offers greater stability than before, delivering a more effective sealant to prevent leakage, while the nickel-clad process improves conductivity. The end result is a better performing, more reliable, and more consistent product.

Responding to the call for alternate power solutions that are environmentally friendly, Rayovac introduces the World’s Longest Lasting Mercury Free hearing aid battery! Available in early 2009, this product delivers the power, performance, and reliability that patients demand. The company’s commitment to the environment goes beyond the battery cell, with environmentally friendly packaging and manufacturing.

Rayovac’s hearing aid battery team continues to research and develop power solutions for the hearing care industry and is committed to advancing the power of hearing in 2009 and beyond. Contact us for more details on all of our products and programs.

Rayovac
Atlanta
www.rayovaccorp.com; (800) 356-7422
or (800) 387-3529 in Canada


ReSound

Looking Back at 2008 …

In 2008, ReSound revolutionized hearing instruments with the introduction of be by ReSound™, the first hearing instrument on the market to feature Invisible Open Technology™. be by ReSound offers patients the ultimate hassle-free cosmetic design.

The company also brought the hearing health care industry an expanded portfolio of new products in every price segment: Azure Silhouette, be by ReSound, dot by ReSound, Sparx, X-plore, and Ziga.

ReSound focused on not only providing innovative products to meet patients’ needs, but also on delivering effective tools to bring more patients to your practice. Consumer marketing for be by ReSound reached millions of consumers, including first-time users seeking an alternative to traditional hearing instruments.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

HR HEADLINES

  • AFA/ReSound Award AuD Scholarship. January 31, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Natural Directivity: Asymmetric Directionality Solutions, by Jennifer Groth, MA; John Nelson, PhD; Andrew Dittberner, PhD; and Laurel Christensen, PhD. February 2008 HR.
  • ReSound Rebounds from Blocked Merger with Backlog of Innovation. April 2008 HR.
  • Automatic Hearing Instrument Adjustments Based on Environmental Listening Situations, by Jennifer Groth, MA; John Nelson, PhD; Charlotte Thunberg Jespersen, MA; and Laurel Christensen, PhD. April 2008 HR.
  • Can an In-the-Ear Device Be Truly Open? Yes! by Charlotte Jespersen, MA, and Jennifer Groth, MA. August 2008 HR.
  • AFA/ReSound Announces “ReSound University for AuD Students.” March 5, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • AuDNet and ReSound Finalize Strategic Supply Agreement. June 12, 2008 HR The Insider.

2009 will bring continued focus on developing consumer marketing campaigns and tools to help you positively impact as many lives as possible affected by hearing loss.

A New Year of products will start with the introduction of ReSound Essence—the newest family of hearing instruments that will deliver classic ReSound technologies to even the most budget-conscious hearing instrument wearers.

ReSound
Bloomington, Minn
www.gnresound.com; (800) 248-4327


SeboTek Hearing Systems

Looking Back at 2008 …

SeboTek revolutionized the hearing care industry in 2003 with its introduction of Receiver in the Canal (RIC) technology. Now it is the fastest growing style in the industry. In 2008, SeboTek once again led the way by introducing unprecedented technology that is improving hearing care around the world.

2008 brought the introduction of the company’s most advanced hearing instruments, the 800 Series. These RIC instruments feature a new, moisture-resistant case design and advanced features such as Voice Priority Noise Reduction, wireless connectivity, and multiple color options.

Coinciding with the 800 Series rollout was the introduction of the Hybrid Coupling Technology System—a ready-to-wear fitting approach that provides the option of either an open fit mini receiver, or deep canal power receiver; both designs virtually eliminate the occlusion effect. Together, they provide the hearing care professional with one instrument, but two different ready-to-wear fitting strategies that are discreet, comfortable, and effective for almost every level of hearing loss.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

SeboTek will continue to lead the industry with RIC/RITE technology in 2009 with the expected launch of several new product offerings that will further utilize the Hybrid Coupling Technology System and new advanced signal processing features.

HR HEADLINES

  • Starkey Signs Patent License Agreement with SeboTek. February 21, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • SeboTek Group Signs Patent License Agreement with Siemens Medical Instruments, Pte Ltd. March 10, 2008 HR Online News.
  • 10 Trends That Are Transforming Hearing Health Care, by Karl E. Strom. April 2008 HR.

Also expected in 2009 will be an exciting new version of the company’s Pro-VES fitting software with an updated interface, added programming features, and increased language support.

SeboTek Hearing Systems
Tulsa, Okla
www.sebotek.com; (800) 388-9041


Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc

Looking Back at 2008 …

What if we stop focusing on ears and start focusing on who they’re attached to?”

Siemens launches products for a variety of lifestyles.

NITRO® custom products have all the performance and features of NITRO and NITRO 16. For patients with severe hearing loss.

Pure® is so discreet that it’s nearly invisible. Available in RIC BTE and CIC models, it is rechargeable, advanced, and full-featured. Tek™ option available.

Explorer™ is a specially designed pediatric hearing instrument. Packed with state-of-the-art features to meet the needs of children from birth to adolescence. Tek option available.

Vibe® is in-the-crest, going where no hearing instrument has gone before. For a tiny, visible, and confident statement.

Tek is Siemens’ optional wireless enhancement system. The Tek Connect remote can stream stereo sound from audio sources such as MP3 players, TVs, or cell phones to hearing instruments using Bluetooth® wireless technology.

Life is all about style and freedom in an open fit instrument. It is sleek yet powerful, fashionable yet inconspicuous. Tek option available.

Motion™ is comfortable, convenient, and rechargeable. Its full product line is for people who want a hearing instrument that won’t slow them down. Tek option available.

HR HEADLINES

  • Comparison of Transient Noise Reduction Systems, by Josef Chalupper, PhD; and Eric Branda, AuD. January 2008 HR.
  • Siemens Introduces NITRO 16 CIC for Severe Losses. January 27, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • A New Era of Form and Function, by Pamela Burton, AuD; Thomas A. Powers, PhD; and Josef Chalupper, PhD. August 2008 HR.
  • Siemens Turns Up Volume with New National Ad Campaign. February 28, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Siemens Introduces Four New Hearing Instruments (Vibe, Pure, Explorer, and Tek). June 12, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Siemens Introduces Life. November 6, 2008 HR Online News.
  • Siemens’ New Motion Helps Mild to Severe Hearing Loss. November 7, 2008 HR Online News.

eARena™ is an interactive DVD program containing a 20-day curriculum of listening exercises and daily tips for new or existing hearing instrument wearers.

Disney Pediatric Kit. Siemens and Disney present an accessory kit free to pediatric patients and hearing care providers for each pediatric Siemens hearing instrument purchased.

Siemens Hearing Instruments
Piscataway, NJ
www.usa.siemens.com/hearing; (800) 766-4500


Sonic Innovations Inc

Looking Back at 2008 …

  • Sonic Innovations celebrated 10 years of success with consistent revenue growth in 2008. Over those years, the company has experienced a 50% compound annual revenue growth rate and in 2007, it reported a revenue increase of 16%, to $122.5 million.

    Its patented technology was among the first of its kind clinically proven to increase speech understanding in noise, which has made Sonic one of the largest hearing aid providers in the world.

  • The ion™ 400 is the newest addition to the smallest hearing aid line in the category of micro behind-the-ear products. It has 24-channel digital signal processing, hands-free automatic features, and is an open-ear model for those with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
  • The new series of Velocity™ brand hearing aids: Velocity 24, Velocity 12, Velocity 6, and Velocity 4—offer products to fit a variety of consumers’ needs.
  • The new sonicBlu™ is a wireless communication device that allows users of Velocity hearing aids to wirelessly connect to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones.

HR HEADLINES

  • “Sonic Innovations Launches Velocity mini-BTE and ion 400 Open-Fit Micro-BTE. April 10, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Sonic Innovations Celebrates 10 Years of Success. June 17, 2008 HR Online News.
  • Sonic Innovations Establishes Fund for Armed Forces Foundation. July 2, 2008 HR Online News.
  • Sonic Innovations Appoints New Vice President Of Auditory Research. July 31, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Sonic Launches New Line Tailored to Specific Communication Needs. August 14, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Sonic Innovations Introduces sonicBLU Bluetooth Device. September 24, 2008 HR Online News.
  • Sonic Innovations Commemorates One-Millionth Hearing Instrument. November 13, 2008 HR Online News.
  • Sonic Innovations Appoints New President, COO. August 14, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • AAA Show Snapshot: Guitar Heroes at Sonic Innovations. AAA Blog, April 2008.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

Sonic Innovations will continue to focus on providing products offering unparalleled patient benefit, unique form factors, and exception quality and reliability. It plans to expand product offerings in the receiver-in-canal and power BTE markets. We will support our professional partners with best-in-industry customer service and outstanding business-building opportunities and will expand our international presence through strategic partnerships.

Sonic Innovations Inc
Salt Lake City
www.sonici.com; (888) 423-7834


Starkey Laboratories

Looking Back at 2008 …

For Starkey, 2008 was characterized by its commitment to evidence-based design, which led to the introduction of BluWave™ Signal Processing (SP). Similar to an operating system that runs on a computer, BluWave SP coordinates multiple complex systems, processes system data, and manages inputs. It then allocates resources to efficiently and accurately control output parameters, resulting in patients experiencing clarity in noise, virtually zero feedback, and high-resolution sound imaging.

Thanks to BluWave SP, Starkey was able to develop the best-in-class receiver-in-canal Zōn™ which delivers industry-leading performance and unprecedented patient satisfaction in a discreet, stylish package. Starkey has been the recipient of four awards lauding the technology and design of Zōn, including a Consumer Electronics Show Innovations 2009 Award; the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s 2008 People’s Choice Award; a Spark Design Award; and a Tekne Award.

Starkey also added to the already robust Destiny™ line of hearing aids with the Destiny mini in 2008. Both Zōn and Destiny:

  • Provide best-in-class performance through the cutting-edge technology.
  • Harness the power of BluWave Signal Processing to virtually eliminate feedback with Active Feedback Intercept (AFI) and deliver the best performing directional system on the market with Directional Speech Detector (DSD).
  • Allow hearing care professionals to quickly and accurately conduct real-ear measurements with Integrated Real Ear Measurement (IREM), which provides the most precise fit possible. IREM helps professionals counsel patients, reducing the number of adjustments needed for a comfortable fit and better addressing the challenges hearing aid users are facing in their environments.

HR HEADLINES

  • Freeman and Van Vliet Join Starkey. February 7, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Starkey Donates $75,000 to AAAF for ABA’s Pediatric Speciality Certification. April 17, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala Nets Over $5 Million. June 19, 2008 HR The Insider.
  • Starkey Appoints Jerry Northern Director of Special Projects in Education,Training. July 17, 2008 HR Online News.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

Starkey will continue to develop and release best-in-class hearing instruments and breakthrough fitting software. With the intense focus on evidence-based design, Starkey products will be proven to enhance the patient journey.

Starkey Laboratories Inc
Eden Prairie, Minn
www.starkey.com; (800) 328-8602


The Hearing Review

Looking Back at 2008 …

HR Editor’s Top 12 Picks in 2008

In chronologic order, January-November:

  • Why Morphology Matters: Practical Dispensing Applications of 21st Century Shell Design Techniques, Parts 1 & 2, by Roy F. Sullivan, PhD. February & March 2008 HR.
  • How Patient Demand Impacts Pricing and Revenue, by Amyn M. Amlani, PhD. March 2008 HR.
  • Hearing Aid Selection and BTEs: Choosing Among Various “Open-Ear” and “Receiver-in-Canal” Options, by Francis Kuk, PhD, and Lars Baekgaard, MS. March 2008 HR.
  • What Helen Keller Knew; What Popular Thought Overlooks, by Max S. Chartrand, PhD. May 2008 HR.
  • Growing Up Noisy: The Sound-exposure Diary of a Hypothetical Young Adult, by Vishakha Rawool, PhD. May 2008 HR.
  • Mind the Ports! The Effect of Severe Microphone Inlet Occlusion, by Christopher Schweitzer, PhD, June 2008 HR.
  • Compression in Hearing Aids: Why Fast Multichannel Processing Systems Work Well, by Edgar Villchur, MSEd. June 2008 HR.
  • Attenuation Values of a Noise-Cancelling Headphone, by Francis X. Baur, AuD, and Thomas R. Zalewski, PhD. June 2008 HR.
  • Deafness and Death, by Jerome D. Schein, PhD, and Maurice H. Miller, PhD. August 2008 HR.
  • Extending Candidacy for Thin-Tube Fittings by Modifying the Earmold, by Darrell E. Rose, PhD; Robert M. Ghent, Jr, MS; and Nick Wright, BC-HIS. September 2008 HR.
  • How Hearing Aids May Be Set for Different Languages, by Marshall Chasin, AuD, MSc. October 2008 HR (podcast available).
  • After the Occupational Audiogram…What Now? by Brad Witt, MA. November 2008 HR.

In 2008, HR continued to build its reputation as the relied-upon trade publication in hearing care, in addition to its substantial online presence. An all-new Web site was launched in April that provides HR and its sister publication, Hearing Products Report, with new capabilities, including podcasts, event blogs, video streaming, revolving news, Web polls, and much more. HR‘s weekly e-newsletter, The Insider, was redesigned and is now run by HPR Editor Will Campbell, and experienced journalist Judy O’Rourke was named associate editor of both HR and HPR to assist Campbell and Editor-in-Chief Karl Strom.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

HPR will be changing its name to Hearing Review Products in 2009, reflecting a renewed strategic relationship between the two publications; HR continues with its full-range coverage of hearing healthcare, while HPR focuses strictly on products and services, with particularly emphasis on its new Matrix system for in-depth product comparisons. Also look for HR‘s new Science & Technology Thursday Podcasts available in the Media Center of www.hearingreview.com.


Unitron Hearing

Looking Back at 2008 …

2008 was an exceptional year for Unitron Hearing with the introduction of innovative hearing solutions across all product categories. The year kicked off with the successful introduction of Yuu™, the industry’s first truly interactive hearing instrument. Yuu allows wearers to adjust adaptive features and teach their hearing instruments to make adjustments automatically.

Following Yuu was the launch of Next™—an outstanding series that redefines the advanced through essential categories. Comprised of four product lines: Next 16, Next 8, Next 4, and Next E, each one offering a unique set of purpose-driven features to address individual preferences and budget. Next is developed on the world’s most advanced digital sound processing platform, resulting in a better sounding hearing instrument.

Completing the company’s plans to offer the very best technology across all categories, Unitron Hearing introduced 360™, an advanced digital hearing solution specially tailored for people with severe to profound hearing loss. 360 is the first super power hearing solution purposely built to allow clients to achieve all of the power they need without compromising on advanced features, sound quality, or everyday reliability.

Moving Forward to 2009 …

For the past 4 years, Unitron Hearing has experienced exceptional growth across the globe. We believe this success can be directly attributed to developing purpose-driven hearing innovations in close collaboration with hearing health care professionals.

In 2009, the company will build on this philosophy and continue to excite the industry with new product innovations across all categories that make everyday listening easier for people with hearing loss. Our customers can look for more professional development initiatives and other value-added services to assist them in growing their business and ensuring high client success.

HR HEADLINES