Bellman & Symfon, Vastra Frolunda, Sweden, offers its Bellman Audio Domino, a personal hearing system that the company says uses digital state-of-the-art sound processing and wireless wideband technology to bring out speech in difficult listening situations. The assistive listening device reportedly delivers clear stereo sound while minimizing background noise and feedback, and can be used in a variety of situations and environments such as at work, school, and home, and in restaurants and vehicles. Fully digital, the Bellman Audio Domino features remote control of omni- and directional microphones, and all functions can be accessed using a single push of a button. Domino comes with a 2-year warranty.
TV Listener J2 Headphones
Precision Laboratories Inc, Orlando, Fla, offers the wireless TV Listener J2 deluxe cushioned stereo headphones. Its infrared signal works interference free, in stereo or mono mode, and offers crisp, clean sound. The rechargeable headset can last more than 15 hours, is hearing aid-compatible, and can be expanded to work with multiple headsets. Comes with a 6-month limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Emergency Awakening System
SafeAwake, from SafeAwake LLC, Columbia, Md, a safety device for awakening deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to emergencies, listens for the smoke alarm and activates a patented vibrating bed shaker, a low-frequency, high-decibel signal, and a visible strobe. The device, which is portable and user-friendly, works in conjunction with standard smoke detectors. Users place the bed shaker under the mattress and plug it in. It is always on, listening for sound from the smoke detector. SafeAwake plugs into standard electrical wall outlets and includes a battery backup providing alert protection for up to 24 hours if the power is out, says the company.
Somerset, NJ-based Oticon Inc’s ConnectLine Bluetooth adaptors are plug and play, energy efficient, and part of Oticon’s integrated connectivity protocol. The TV adaptor overcomes the latency issue experienced with Bluetooth; the phone adaptor turns existing landline phones into cordless Bluetooth phones. Streamer maintains an energy efficient system for hearing aids while streaming.
ADCO Offers Sennheiser 830-S
ADCO Hearing Products, Littleton, Colo, has the Sennheiser Set 830-S available. Using infrared transmission, the sound from a TV stereo system or radio can be wirelessly transmitted from the 830-S receiver to a hearing aid with a T-switch via the included induction loop. Alternatively, induction silhouette couplers or headphones can be connected to the lightweight clip-on receiver. System features of the Set 803-S include transmission frequencies of 2.3 – 2.8MHz with a range of up to 40 feet. Volume and balance controls with selectable hearing settings ensure ideal speech intelligibility.
TV Ears Goes High-Def
TV Ears, San Diego, has delivered the first Senior-Friendly LCD high-definition television. The 32-inch set includes a built-in wireless transmitter and headset, a user-friendly color-coded remote control device, and an automatic shut-off feature that engages after 4 hours of inactivity. Additionally, TV Ears TV provides an extralarge screen text for easier viewing, and comes with the company’s specialty service that includes delivery with complete hookup, programming, and one-on-one instruction service of the TV and associated TV Ears headset by a technician. The set is now available for purchase on the company’s Web site, through select audiology dealers, and at specialty retailers.
Telephone Ring Amplifier
Sonic Alert, Troy, Mich, now carries the Geemarc CL1 Telephone Ring Amplifier with strobe light to alert hard-of-hearing individuals to incoming calls using both a flasher and extraloud (up to 95dB) ringer alarm. The CL1 can easily be installed in any home by simply connecting the adapter to an electrical outlet and inserting the telephone line from the CL1 into the wall jack. No telephone is required for the signaler to work, just an active telephone line and electricity. Also available is an optional shaker. The signaler features tone and volume control as well as four alarm options.
Harris Communications, Eden Prairie, Minn, offers Serene Innovations’ UA-50 phone amplifier, for people who need extra amplification on their phone at work. The amplifier attaches to business phones for clear calls that are amplified up to 170 times louder on handsets or headsets. The device is available with the H141N DuoSet noisecancelling headset with a RJ9 adapter, which is worn over the ear or over the head to enable users to multitask while keeping their hands free. Other headset options are available.
Full Digital Amplified Freedom Phone
ClearSounds, Naperville, Ill, has made its Full Digital CS1000 amplified Freedom phone available. This new digital platform combines design, ergonomics, and functionality with the most powerful amplification and tone management technology available—55dB of adjustable handset amplification and a full range of tone control ensure sound clarity on every call. The Freedom phone also includes talking caller ID, a talking keypad, a full-duplex amplified speakerphone, and a digital answering machine featuring slowed speech technology.
Remote Connect Adapter
Pehratek Products, Chaska, Minn, offers the Remote Connect Adapter (RCA), which can be used with the Oticon ConnectLine TV transmitter to remotely pick up sounds at meetings, restaurants, and other places where a remote microphone can assist hearing ability. The RCA consists of a custom handheld pouch with built-in clothes clip to attach to car visor or pocket, long-lasting built-in lithium battery, and noise-canceling directional microphone that plugs into the Oticon ConnectLine TV unit, essentially turning the TV adapter into a portable wireless microphone.
Task-Vision TV Glasses
Vision USA, a Dentrex Company, Cherry Hill, NJ, offers Task-Vision TV glasses that will focus on objects from 10 feet to infinity with clarity on the enlarged image. The glasses are specially designed for watching TV, and are also ideal for most other events and activities where a magnified image is desirable and helpful (eg, lectures, sporting events, movies, theater, and golf). These hands-free head-mounted glasses provide a useful 2.0X magnification. Each scratch-resistant lens is individually adjustable by an easy dialing system that will allow for future sightchanging conditions. The frame can be worn as a regular pair of glasses or will fit over prescription glasses.
Wireless Communication Device
HARC Mercantile Ltd, Portage, Mich, is now offering the HearIt All, a wireless communication device from Phonic Ear that uses FM and Bluetooth technology to amplify speech using the microphone transmitter, connect as a hands-free headset to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, and connect to a landline phone for amplification. The receiver has a built-in neckloop for hearing aid users with T-coils, or headphones can be used. The transmitter can also be connected to a TV or stereo to amplify the sound to the listener’s personal needs.
Warner Tech-care Products, Roseville, Minn, distributes two models of TV Talker, Williams Sound’s wireless TV systems. The WIR 250 with neckloop features a versatile receiver that transfers audio from the transmitter into a hearing aid equipped with a T-coil. With a 3.5mm jack, the listener can plug in a variety of stereo or mono earphones or headphones. The WIR 240 TV Talker is ideal for TV listening, meetings, or any small group listening application. The On/Off switch is built into the arms of the receiver so it can never be left on to drain the batteries.
TV Ears Loop System
Westone Laboratories, Colorado Springs, Colo, offers the latest addition to the TV Ears line. Hearing instrument wearers can now enjoy all the benefits of TV Ears without removing their instruments. TV Ears cuts down television background noise and amplifies the dialogue for better clarity and enjoyment. The TV Ears 2.3 Loop System allows users to receive the refined television audio through their hearing instrument’s manual T-coil. Users can adjust their own volume and tone without turning up the TV and disturbing others. The TV Ears TV Loop is compatible only with the TV Ears 2.3 MHz system.
Implant Power Batteries
Implant Power Batteries from ZeniPower, Zhuhai, China, offer a reported 30%-plus improvement that can power cochlear BTE speech processors for up to 6 days. Comparison tests conducted by ZeniPower show a longer life than other brands at 30 mA discharge. The strictly controlled manufacturing process guarantees high reliability and consistency. Free samples are available.
Power to Spare
Rayovac, Madison, Wis, offers its Extreme Performance, a more powerful battery range for next-generation hearing instruments with wireless functionality. This product innovation offers a solution to the special requirements of new, high-drain hearing devices, which include wireless connectivity. Extreme Performance meets the extra power demands of these aids by delivering increased milliwatt power without compromising other areas of performance.
Mercury-Free, Zinc Air Batteries
With more than 10 years of laboratory and field testing, Energizer’s line of mercury-free, zinc air hearing aid batteries are available in all four battery sizes—10, 13, 312, and 675.
Irrigator Reduces Repairs
Ear Irrigator from Health Enterprises Inc, North Attleboro, Mass, offers patients the same patented cleansing technology used in physician offices. Ear Irrigator features a safe saline solution and clinically tested “tri-stream” tip coupled to an easy-to-use pressure bottle. Used regularly, it is effective in preventing earwax building, which can lead to costly repairs.
Natural Ear Treatment
MiraCell Inc, Orem, Utah, offers MiraCell natural ear treatment, which eases cerumen removal, makes wearing hearing aids and earmolds more comfortable, and relieves sore, dry, flaking, or itching ears caused by detaching keratin and tympanic membrane plaque. MiraCell Inc offers an income-making opportunity that will reduce returns and remakes.
Ear Cleansing System
Hal-Hen Company Inc, Garden City Park, NY, presents Murine Earigate Ear Cleansing System. Designed and tested by an ENT physician, Earigate helps keep ears clean longer. Using patented “reverse spray action,” Earigate safely rinses away earwax and cellular debris with no pressure on the tympanic membrane. Easy to use, Earigate extends the time between ear cleanings and helps prevent hearing aid failure due to wax and debris buildup. Clinically tested, Earigate is chemical- and preservative-free, is hypoallergenic, and can be used as often as necessary. Earigate is available in two sizes: adult and child. Each 100 mL can of Earigate delivers 30 to 50 applications.
EARMOLDS, EARPLUGS, AND IMPRESSION MATERIALS
Mid-States Laboratories, Wichita, Kan, offers a variety of thin-tube/open-ear fittings. Choose from a selection of styles to custom fit each client’s hearing needs. When possible, Mid-States prefers to use its Apollo or Marveltex/vinyl materials, which allow for friction fit, an advantage when considering the need to retube.
Breakthrough Protection Technology
Boulder, Colo-based EAR Inc’s HearPlugz-DF multifunctional dual-filtered hearing protectors offer breathable, moisture-resistant, dual acoustical filters that improve sound quality when the ear is overloaded with excess noise (continuous or impact). Dual filters provide the user with a choice of two levels of noise reduction. HearPlugz-DF are available in a choice of colors, three sizes, and with a removable cord. The exterior filter can be easily removed if less attenuation is desired or to connect radio communications.
Puretone Introduces New i-Monitor
Puretone, Kent, United Kingdom, has announced the release of its new i-Monitor in-ear monitors that bring together the sound of the company’s micro monitors with hands-free communication as an accessory for a smartphone or mp3 player. Made from soft silicone, the custom-made earmolds fit precisely to the user’s ear contours, helping to maximize the low-frequency response (bass boost), while the silicone helps ensure comfort with high-quality noise attenuation. The inline headset cable features a small microphone and push button that allow the monitors to be used as a hands-free kit. Pressing the button answers an incoming call (even during music playback), so users can carry on with current tasks. Each ear piece is fitted with a user-replicable wax guard system to help ensure long life and high-quality sound reproduction.
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Selected by Forbes as the 9th Most Promising Company in 2009, Yurtopia, St Louis, makes Yurbuds Earbud Enhancers out of soft medical-grade silicone that slip directly over standard headphones, some in-canal headphones, and many Bluetooth headsets. Utilizing ergonomics, patent-pending design, and audiology to eliminate the pain and instability of in-ear headphones, Yurtopia offers sound-enhancing Yurbuds in a variety of sizes tailored to an individual’s concha and ear canal for a precise fit so they will stay in place during rigorous activity.
Hearing Protection for Small Ear Canals
Etymotic Research, Elk Grove Village, Ill, offers a second size of high-fidelity hearing protection for children and adults with small ear canals. The earplugs, called BabyBlues, have the same flat 20dB sound reduction as Etymotic’s standard ETYPlugs HI-FI earplugs. All earplugs from Etymotic are flat attenuation to protect hearing and reduce noise fatigue while keeping music and voices clear, and can be used for playing and listening to music, attending concerts, and traveling.
Quick, Convenient Earplugs
McKeon Products Inc, Warren, Mich, has created Mack’s Roll Ups Wallet Earplugs that are small enough to carry anywhere, but are big on protection. Developed with patent-pending technology and featuring packaging that is smaller than a credit card, Mack’s Roll Ups include a pair of foam strips that roll up in seconds to fit any ear canal and provide quick and comfortable hearing protection.
Instant Hearing Protection
Warner Tech-care Products, Roseville, Minn, introduces its new Ear-guard Instant Hearing Protection, which protects hearing while working or playing in loud environments. Ear-guard is ideal for factory workers, hunters, law-enforcement officers, motorcyclists, musicians, and homeowners wanting to protect their hearing while using loud equipment. Gun-dispensed Ear-guard silicone is speedy, sanitary, and durable. No hand mixing is needed. This custom hearing protection can be modified, vented, and lacquer coated all in less than an hour. Ear-guard is highly thixotropic and easy flowing, and has a 40-shore value. Ear-guard products are sold in a convenient starter kit with seven colors.
Custom Earmolds, Earplugs
Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products, Portland, Ore, manufactures a wide variety of earplugs and custom earmolds for swimming, sleeping, and hearing protection, including the Hocks Noise Braker and Pikaso Plugs.
Audina Introduces Intuition 12
Audina Hearing Instruments Inc, Longwood, Fla, has announced the addition of the INTUITION 12 custom digital hearing instrument to its family of INTUITION products. The new 12-channel instrument offers exceptional power output control with eight independent compression channels and eight adjustable WDRC channels, providing broader fitting flexibility. With 110 dB dynamic range and Audina’s Softwave system, the Intuition 12 offers excellent bandwidth to achieve added stable gain in the low frequencies, providing an opportunity to fit a wider range of patients with severe hearing losses.
Sonic’s Award-Winning Touch
Salt Lake City-based Sonic Innovations Inc was named an International CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering Awards honoree for the company’s Touch hearing aid. Touch was named the Best of Innovations honoree in the Health and Wellness category. The Innovations Design and Engineering Awards have been recognizing achievements in product design and engineering since 1976. It is sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the producer of the International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, and endorsed by the Industrial Designers Society of America.
OTE Features Tinnitus Sound Generator
New Orleans-based General Hearing Instruments Inc has announced the release of its Tranquil Simplicity micropoly tube OTE featuring a broadband tinnitus sound generator. The device offers a secure fit for extended wear time, and since it is not custom fit, it allows for same-day fitting scenarios. If amplification is needed to accommodate a hearing loss, tinnitus combo devices are available that combine high-tech amplification circuits with a quality sound generator in a cost-effective, in-the-ear device. Tranquil Combo is available in an open-ear design or a closed shell with venting, depending on the hearing loss. Several amplification circuits are available, including digital, with one or two manual controls.
Effective, Efficient Fitting
Ear Technology Corporation, Johnson City, Tenn, is now shipping its Clik open-fit BTE, an instrument that provides an innovative, efficient fitting protocol for patients with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. Clik’s processor is preloaded with a variety of algorithms, so instead of programming via traditional cable connections, the appropriate setting is selected with a fingertip. Clik features digital volume control, directional microphones, and two telecoils. Clik allows for 24-bit precision computing with up to 110dB of input dynamic range and eight channel wide dynamic range compression.
Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc, Piscataway, NJ, offers its Pure 300 RIC BTE hearing instrument, one of the newest additions to the Pure product line. The device is rechargeable, equipped with a range of features in a discreet design, and complements the 700 and 500 models. The Pure 300 is compatible with the Siemens Tek wireless enhancement system, a Bluetooth accessory that allows users to stream sound from audio devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players, and televisions, and lets users hear wireless-compatible devices in both ears.
Nios Micro BTE
Products from Swiss-based Phonak (US headquarters, Warrenville, Ill) include the highperformance Nios, a new pediatric solution that utilizes Phonak’s SoundRecover technology, for users with all degrees of hearing loss. Nios Micro BTE completes the company’s Junior portfolio, providing a hearing instrument with SoundRecover across all hearing loss ranges. Nios Micro is based on CORE technology and offers industry benchmarks for feedback elimination, frequency compression, and FM compatibility. It is suited for children with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. The Junior portfolio also includes Naída and Audéo YES.
Fully Implantable Hearing System
Otologics, Boulder, Colo, has introduced Carina, a fully implantable hearing system that picks up sounds using a microphone implanted under the skin. Sounds are amplified according to the wearer’s needs and converted into an electrical signal. The signal is sent down the lead and into the transducer, the top of which is in contact with the middle ear anatomy. The implant component consists of three primary parts: a capsule that houses the electronics, a microphone system, and the middle ear transducer. It consists of four primary components: the implant, the programming system, the charger, and the remote control.
Exceptional Sound Quality
Somerset, NJ-based Oticon Inc’s Hit is a hearing solution offering a range of features and styles for budget- conscious consumers. Hit and Hit Pro offer a wide range of model choices to fit mild to severe-to-profound hearing losses up to 105dB HL. The company’s RISE platform gives Hit and Hit Pro a high bandwidth (8kHz) for exceptional sound quality, outcome-based automatic decision making, adaptive directionality, noise management, and dynamic feedback cancellation. Open fittings are available as RITE style or as Corda 2 thin tube adaptors. Available in 10 colors for BTE and RITE.
Ocho Micro Open Fit BTE
Aurica USA, Longwood, Fla, offers the Ocho Micro Open Fit BTE, an eight-channel hearing aid that provides exceptional sound quality in a small and discreet package. The Ocho features third-generation adaptive feedback cancellation systems to enable added stable gain, eight channel WDRC compression, 12 band gain adjustment, and layered noise reduction, with a 17dB noise reduction setting available for extreme noise situations. Event Data Logging helps dispensers understand usage patterns to counsel new users.
New S Series BTE with Sweep Technology
The S Series BTE with Sweep Technology, from Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, provides a completely unique way to adjust hearing aids. Sweep Technology replaces all of the traditional hearing aid buttons and dials with an innovative touch surface that allows users to adjust volume up or down and change memories with the simple sweep or touch of a finger. Sweeping a finger up increases the volume and sweeping down decreases the volume. Memory adjustments are made with a simple touch of the surface. The new S Series BTE can be fit with standard earmolds or open with thin tubing. The instrument includes Advanced HydraShield as well as T2, giving patients the ability to adjust hearing aid volume or memories with a touch-tone phone.
More Power, Smaller Size
ReSound, Bloomington, Minn, has introduced its ReSound Live 312 ITC remote microphone custom hearing instruments, reportedly more powerful and 40% smaller than many other custom hearing instruments on the market. The Live 312 ITC provides expanded fitting range that accommodates 90% of hearing losses; PhoneNow for automatic phone usage; and extended 312 battery life—reportedly up to 165 hours. Its remote microphone design is engineered to use the natural shape of the ear to provide improved directivity, wind noise protection, and sound locating.
Hearing Aid Uses Teeth to Transmit Sound
Sonitus Medical Inc, San Mateo, Calif, has announced the development of its SoundBite hearing system, a nonsurgical and removable hearing solution that the company says is designed to imperceptibly transmit sound via the teeth. Relying on the principle of bone conduction, the hearing and communication platform is initially intended as a simple and noninvasive treatment for hearing disorders such as single-sided deafness and tinnitus. Nearly invisible when worn, the SoundBite system consists of an easy to insert and remove ITM (in-themouth) hearing device—custom made to fit around either the upper left or right back teeth—and a small microphone unit worn behind the ear. No modifications to the teeth are required. This system is currently for investigational use only with clinical trials now under way intended to support an initial filing for FDA 510(k) clearance to treat single-sided deafness. Intended future indications include conductive and mixed hearing loss.
Hansaton, Hamburg, Germany, has established US headquarters in Plymouth, Minn, and announced the availability of its products to US-based audiologists and hearing aid dispensers. The products include a range of hearing systems, including multiple sizes of behind-the-ear instruments, in-the-ear instruments from fullconcha to completely-in-the-canal, and the latest receiver-in-the-canal instruments with three available power levels. Systems for adults and children include the award-winning Velvet. The instruments, which include a comprehensive 3-year warranty, are fully wireless-enabled, with Bluetooth connectivity, stereo wireless listening, and ear-to-ear control.
Crossover Hearing Instrument
Unitron, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, has introduced Fuse, the world’s first crossover hearing instrument. Combining attributes of ultra-small BTEs and CICs, along with new purpose-driven innovations, Fuse is open fitting and fully featured, and can be fit during a single consultation. At 45% less than the volume of a typical CIC, Fuse is almost completely concealed inside the ear. In developing the new crossover category, Unitron introduced a number of purpose-driven innovations. A revolutionary articulating joint eliminates pressure points by adapting with the ear canal as it moves during speech and while chewing and swallowing. The articulating joint also improves retention. Fuse is available in a choice of technology levels, including Unitron’s premium hearing instrument, Passport, and its most recent advanced introduction, Latitude, in the Latitude 16 and Latitude 8 product lines.
HEARING INSTRUMENT ACCESSORIES
Maximum Moisture Protection
The Hearing Aid Sweat Band from VanB Enterprises, West Valley, NY, is made from a specially designed all-natural fabric that protects hearing aids from the damaging effects of moisture and dirt infiltration. The Hearing Aid Sweat Band material enables wearers to leave their hearing aid in place not only during high-perspiration sport activities, but any time to defend from moisture, dust and dirt. Available in nine sizes and 17 colors for all makes and models of BTE devices. Made in the USA.
The Deflector hearing instrument moisture guard from Raycare Solutions, Lincoln, Neb, allows wearers to enjoy all of life’s activities without the fear of moisture damaging such an important investment. The wearer of a BTE instrument can be involved in everything from strenuous activity to a walk in the rain. The simple, lightweight, clear plastic design deflects moisture away from the hearing instrument. The on-and-off application allows clients to use The Deflector when moisture occurs and remove it when not needed. It also helps in dusty situations, because dirt is not attracted to dry areas.
Ear Gear Eyeglasses
Ear Gear, Lake Country, British Columbia, Canada, has added Ear Gear Eyeglasses to its product line of hearing instrument security and protection devices. They offer a convenient security solution for clients who wear both a hearing instrument and glasses. The flexible rubber “O” rings attached to the Ear Gear sleeve simply slip over the arms of any pair of glasses, creating fashionable security for the wearer. The product is available in all six of the company’s models, in beige only.
Styles for the Ears
Tube Riders, Nashville, Tenn, let kids decorate, individualize, and destigmatize their BTEs or CIs, and help children accept the aids faster by making them cool. Bright and colorful, they slip onto the tube portion of a BTE or onto the ear hook of a cochlear implant. One satisfied mother said Tube Riders changed her child from different into special and made kids love their BTEs.
Age-Appropriate Care Kits
Oticon Pediatrics, Somerset, NJ, has introduced a series of children-friendly, age-appropriate Care Kits packaged with its Safari hearing aids to equip kids as they encounter the everyday adventures of childhood with their new hearing instruments. Color-coded by age, the kits contain a range of practical and fun accessories to meet the needs of youngsters, and their parents, from infancy through the high school years. Care Kits are available for three age groups: infancy to 4 years (apple green); school age children, 5 to 10 years (royal blue); and middle/high-schoolers, 11 to 18 years (espresso). Each kit also contains age-appropriate brochures, Safari-themed Ear Gear, listening tubes, and an OtiCare Clean and Dry Kit.
HEARING INSTRUMENTS COMPONENTS AND PRODUCTION/REPAIR SUPPLIES
Hearing Aid Workstation
With its all steel construction and attractive powder coated cabinet, the Audio Repair Bench from Lightning Enterprises, Limington, Me, includes a two speed Model 26A Red Wing Lathe with Mod Tool Kit, Dual-Lite UV Cure Unit, VAC-1B Hearing Aid Cleaning System, VAC-1D Desiccator Chamber for hearing aid drying, two Model 550 dust collectors with splash hoods, and CM-3 Control Module, as well as extended sides to give the technician plenty of working room. The table top is designed to resist scratching and wear, and under-shelf fluorescent light illuminates the work area.
Quality Control System Introduced
Copenhagen-based 3Shape A/S, a global CAD/CAM technology developer (US headquarters, New Providence, NJ), has released its 3D quality control and reverse engineering system targeted to the needs of hearing instrument manufacturers. The company says its new 3Shape Quality Control and Reverse Engineering solution will allow hearing instrument manufacturers to introduce or upgrade quality control validation procedures, thereby achieving significant improvement in savings and production workflow efficiency. This new solution is available either as a stand-alone platform or integrated with 3Shape’s 3D CAD/CAM products for hearing aid instrument design and production.
Universal Sanitizer Dryer
Hearing Technologies International Inc, Pinellas Park, Fla, now has available its brandnew Universal Sanitizer Dryer, designed to sanitize and remove harmful moisture from hearing aids. With US and international patents pending, the Universal Sanitizer Dryer’s drying compartment can accommodate all types of hearing instruments, including bodyworn, implants, microphones, headpieces, and speech processors, and operates anywhere in the world with a simple plug change. Weighing less than two pounds and measuring a compact 7.4” x 4.25” x 4.57”, the unit has a drying cycle of about 8 hours, first utilizing a germicidal lamp that automatically shuts off after about the first 8 minutes. Then a fan circulates warm air through the drying compartment for the remainder of the cycle. The life of the UV-C lamp is at least 10,000 hours.
The Mark V Power Piston-Driven Cleaning Pump from Mid-States Labora tories, Wichita, Kan, is a heavyduty unit producing strong vacuum power (pulling up to 27 inches of mercury) and blowing up to 120 psi. Standard accessories include seven milled needles and a vacuum chamber that runs automatically for 300 seconds. In addition to the standard accessories, an optional aspirator kit is available for cerumen removal.
Jodi-vac LLC, Portland, Ore, is now offering its first vacuum system for consumers to help them protect their hearing aid investment. Jodi-Consumer is a compact, portable, and affordable hearing aid cleaning solution for home use that takes just a few minutes each night to ensure against wax build-up and reduce the need for professional cleanings. Jodi-Consumer comes with a 1-year warranty for personal use; 3-month warranty for professional use. The unit measures 4.5” x 7.25” x 3”, and operates via a 12V DC power supply.
Westone Laboratories, Colorado Springs, Colo, offers the Branson 200 Ultrasonic Cleaner. Ultrasonic energy (40kHz) creates millions of bubbles in the cleaning solution that work their way into the small crevices of clinical equipment and earmolds to loosen dirt debris. The compact (8.75” length x 4.5” width x 5” deep) cleaner weighs only 3 pounds and features a 15-ounce steel tank.
MARKETING, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT, AND INFORMATION RESOURCES
Oaktree Offers 2010 Catalog
The 126-page 2010 product catalog released by Oaktree Products Inc, Chesterfield, Mo, features the latest products and solutions in cerumen management, infection control, hearing assistive technology, repair and modification, diagnostic equipment, light sources, earmold and impression supplies, resale accessories, and more.
Ear Gear Creates Fit List
In response to many requests, Ear Gear, Lake Country, British Columbia, Canada, has assembled a fit list, containing more than 75 popular hearing instruments and the Ear Gear Model that the company recommends. The list is due to be updated on a regular basis, and is available for download from the Professional’s page on the company’s Web site.
Telephone Skills Improvement Program
Costa Mesa, Calif-based CareCredit’s Telephone Skills Improvement Program is designed to give hearing care professionals the tools, techniques, and scripts to turn phone inquiries into hearing aid sales, and is available free to CareCredit enrolled practices. It consists of three audio CDs, each containing three educational sessions. Each session is about 10 to 15 minutes long, and can be incorporated into a team lunch-and-learn or weekly training meeting, or as part of an ongoing staff development program.
Blueprint Solutions’ Office Management System Comes to the US
Blueprint Solutions LLC, Eden Prairie, Minn, has introduced its hearing care office management system (OMS) in the United States, after 5 years of successful implementation in hearing clinics in Canada. The system has been modified and enhanced to provide total business solutions: it manages patient data, hearing equipment, medical information, and billing, and provides a marketing and promotion module that helps business owners and managers stay in touch with their patient base. The Internet-based system is using advanced database and application tools to create an intuitive user interface that can be accessed from any computer with Internet access.
Hearing Aid Financial Assistance Guide
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI), Washington, DC, has published Your Guide to Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids—detailing how people can obtain financial assistance to purchase hearing aids. The publication provides a financial resource for people considering a hearing aid and allows them to quickly and easily identify charitable foundations, private organizations, insurance plans, corporate benefits, and government programs that help people access the hearing care they need.
TESTING AND FITTING EQUIPMENT
Audioscan Introduces Axiom
Audioscan, Dorchester, Ontario, Canada, lifted the covers off its latest creation, Axiom, in San Diego at AudiologyNOW! 2010 in April, showcasing the sleek new hearing instrument fitting system, which offers a large and easy-to-use test chamber, dual HDMI monitor display capability, and a unique stand that combines speaker and probe microphone management. Key features include speechmap and text box, user-friendly operation, patient-friendly visuals, accurate fittings focused on speech audibility, and more. Audioscan projects to start shipping Axioms this summer.
Integrated Testing Solution
The ICS Chartr EP 200 is a new system for evoked potential (EP) testing from GN Otometrics, Schaumburg, Ill. The system builds on Otometrics’ ICS Chartr line offering comprehensive EP testing. The Chartr EP 200 can be combined with Otometrics’ VNG/ENG system, the ICS Chartr 200, creating a state-of-the-art solution. Install both Chartr EP and Chartr VNG/ENG software on the same computer and benefit from a complete test battery and a shared database.
Otovation Releases OTOPod M2
Otovation, King of Prussia, Pa, has released the OTOPod M2 diagnostic audiometer and hearing instrument programmer. Similar in form to the company’s patented OTOPod M1 audiometer, the M2 adds capabilities to program a variety of Widex hearing aids, including the mind440, mind330, Passion, Inteo, AIKIA, Flash, REAL, Senso, Bravo, and Bravissimo product families. Support for the OTOPod M2 has been added to Widex’s upcoming Compass 5.0 software, which is used in conjunction with Otovation’s Symphony NOAH Module software to provide a complete diagnostic testing and instrument fitting system with the uniquely portable M2 device, according to the company. Concurrent with release of the M2, Otovation is now shipping an updated version of its Symphony and Symphony NOAH Module software, which offers a number of new features. The new Symphony will now be included with all new OTOPod M1 and M2 devices, as well as Amplitude T-Series models.
Frye Introduces FONIX 8000
Frye Electronics Inc, Tygard, Ore, has introduced the FONIX 8000 Hearing Aid Test System, which helps clinicians verify a hearing aid’s directional response pattern (its polar plot)—a measurement that has not typically been available in a clinical environment, according to the company. The technology, which has reportedly been in development for the past 3 years, may be a useful tool for hearing health professionals in light of the growing popularity of directional hearing aids. In the polar plot sound chamber, the hearing aid is mounted on a rotating spindle in front of the sound chamber speaker. During the test, the 8000 automatically rotates the hearing aid in a 360 degree circle, taking measurements at angles specified by the user. A special damping configuration is used within the sound chamber to minimize acoustic reflections and provide as much accuracy as possible within the small confines of the desktop chamber. Results are displayed in polar plot format on a screen, and can be printed and saved electronically for future reference.
Equinox 2.0, Titan from Interacoustics
The Equinox 2.0 and Titan, from Assens, Denmark-based Interacoustics, offer ease of use and speed without compromising flexibility and reliability. With them, clinicians can now combine middle ear test data with audiometric results for a more comprehensive report. Reports can be individually customized to align to local requirements with regard to content and graphical layout. Data is automatically retrieved from OtoAccess or NOAH for a particular patient and sessions and placed in the associated template. Reports can be either printed or saved as a PDF document.
Sound Level Meter Kit
Extech Instruments, Waltham, Mass, offers its Model 407732-Kit, a new Low/High Range Sound Level Meter Kit, featuring ranges measuring 35 to 100dB (low) and 65 to 130dB (high). The included Model 407722 sound calibrator features ±5% accuracy, allowing for the kit to meet both ANSI and IEC 651 Type 2 standards. A backlit LCD display allows for viewing in dimly lit areas, and features data hold and max hold functions. The kit includes the 407732 sound meter, a microphone wind screen, a calibration screw driver, a 9V battery, and the 407722 sound calibrator with an additional 9V battery. The included hard-plastic carrying case provides protection and organization for the meter and calibrator kit.
Universal Hearing Screener
Hearing Technologies International Inc, Pinellas Park, Fla, offers the Universal Hearing Screener, which presents 40dB tones independently at 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 Hz. Powered by two easy-to-replace AAA batteries, it comes equipped with a foam cushion pad to help reduce ambient noise and allow for firm positioning of the speaker to the ear. Universal Hearing Screener is distributed by: Hal-Hen, (800) 242-5436; Oaktree Products, (800) 347-1960; Warner Tech-Care, (800) 328-4757; and Westone Labs, (800) 582-4771. Custom label and designs available.
Oaktree Products Inc, Chesterfield, Mo, introduces affordable operating microscopes. The binocular magnification can make procedures like cerumen removal and the placement of extended wear hearing instruments much easier. Oaktree provides Seiler microscopes, one of the oldest names in the surgical magnification business. High-quality Seiler scopes use precision German lenses.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry System
Pehratek Products, Chaska, Minn, offers the Wireless XM-1000 Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) system that combines motion with attention-getting multiple light patterns to successfully perform pediatric assessments. Each smoked Plexiglas box features a friendly cartoon character that lights up and quietly moves back and forth to attract attention. Additionally, 20 brightly colored LED lights flash in a wave or in a marquee pattern to create an ever-changing attractive display for reinforcing responses. This user-installable system features a RF remote control to activate the system from inside or outside the test booth to over 50 feet.
MedRx Offers AVANT REM Speech+ and A2D+
MedRx Inc, Largo, Fla, offers two new systems: The AVANT REM Speech+ Real Ear and Live Speech Mapping System, and the AVANT A2D+ diagnostic audiometer, both featuring an advanced ergonomic design. New features of the REM Speech+ include the Sure Probe microphone system with lighted visual cues and an adjustable loop design that will fit any ear. Also new is a selectable dual probe measurement option that allows the user to do live speech mapping on both ears simultaneously. The AVANT A2D+ is a two-channel, air, bone, and speech audiometer with a new integrated Quick SIN testing feature. The A2D+ audiometer comes standard with insert ear phones and custom carrying case. Both systems weigh less than a half pound each, connect to a USB port, and are NOAH System 3 and TIMS compatible.
Hear Reliever from Clearly Heard Inc, Glendale, Calif, is a supplement the company says is formulated to assist patients with the symptoms associated with ringing or buzzing in the ear. Hearing supplements have reportedly been shown to be effective in reducing and/or eliminating tinnitus in some patients. Hear Reliever’s formula includes glutathione (a key element in reportedly helping to prevent free radical damage), CoQ10 (an antioxidant said to promote cellular energy), and NAC (an amino acid shown to repair damaged hair cells of the inner ear). Health Care Professional discounts and affiliate programs are available.
An Oasis of Relief
Neuromonics’ noninvasive, FDA-cleared Oasis device is customized to the patient’s unique hearing and tinnitus profile, says the company. Delivering a customized stimulus that promotes neural changes, Oasis allows the brain to filter out the disturbing tinnitus sound. This stimulus is delivered within spectrally modified, customized music, which engages the brain’s emotional response center and the limbic system, reportedly reducing tinnitus-related disturbance.