It seems as if all our devices are getting stronger, smarter, and more compact. Generally speaking, the trend is that devices have more features and take up less space.
Hearing aids are no exception, and it’s not a surprise. Though hearing issues have a variety of causes, hearing difficulties are more prevalent amongst older people, and the world’s population is aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 37.5 million people and 3 million Canadians describe having difficulty hearing, and since age is a better predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number is likely to go up.
Naturally, if you’re dealing with hearing loss, even one person with difficulty hearing, i.e. you, is one person too many. Better ways to alleviate hearing loss? Let’s have them! Advancements are happening, here are a few.
Using Your Hearing Aid to Track Your Entire Body
This one seems as if it should be obvious. Devices that provide different types of health tracking are almost always worn and need to be worn on the body. So do you really need a device on your wrist if you already have one in your ear? Nope! If you have the latest hearing aid, it can most likely track your pulse, physical activity along with fixing hearing problems like tinnitus. Hearing aids can also monitor things that other wearables normally don’t, like the time spent conversing. How much social engagement you get can actually be a vital health metric, especially as you get older.
Connectivity is the important watchword, as virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa have moved from smartphones to in-home devices without missing a beat. Some hearing aids that provide Bluetooth capabilities now allow users to stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for instance, to the hearing aids. Android developers now have open-source specifications provided by Google which allows them to use certain Bluetooth channels to stream uninterrupted audio directly to your hearing aid. This kind of technology is helping hearing aids work almost like super-powered wireless headphones, making it easier to enjoy music, movies, and more.
Smart Adjustments From Big Data
In a similar way to how Netflix suggests shows and movies based on what you’ve previously watched, or your Fitbit buzzes to let you know you’ve reached a goal (or okay, let’s say stepping stone, depending on how driven your everyday step goals are), your next hearing aid may make personalized recommendations. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being manufactured by several companies, to learn your habits. Some go as far as to crowdsource information about people’s utilization habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. All this info enables the hearing aids to determine your tendencies and make adjustments on the fly so that if you’re at home watching TV or you’re in an IMAX theater (for instance), you’ll get the best possible sound.
Getting Rid of The Batteries Once And For All
Ya, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t need batteries? After all, making certain you’ve got spare batteries with you, or even taking time to recharge your hearing aid batteries, can be annoying. While we’re not likely to see hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a constant advancement in rechargeable technology. That means longer time in use, faster recharging, and less worrying about batteries, all in all, not too shabby.