Technology is evolving into smarter, more powerful, and smaller devices. Being smaller while doing more is the overall trend.
This is also true for hearing aids, and it’s not surprising. Though hearing issues have a variety of causes, hearing difficulties are more common amongst older people, and the world’s population is aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, around 37.5 million people and 3 million Canadians describe having trouble hearing, and because age is a stronger predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number will probably go up.
If you’re dealing with hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Better ways to minimize hearing loss? Let’s have them! Here are some of the innovations that are happening.
Complete-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This is so intuitive, it’s one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that” developments. Devices that provide different kinds 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? The answer is no. Or at least, you don’t with some of the newest hearing aids, which along with helping correct for hearing difficulties such as tinnitus, will also track your pulse, your physical activity, and much more. Hearing aids can also track things that other wearables usually don’t, like the duration of conversations. How much social engagement you get can actually be an essential health metric, especially as you age.
Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have quickly moved from smartphones to in-home devices and the primary emphasis here is connectivity. Audio from a device, such as a smart TV can now be streamed directly to your hearing aid if it is Bluetooth compatible. Android developers now have open-source specs supplied by Google which lets them use specific Bluetooth channels to stream uninterrupted audio straight to your hearing aid. This type 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
Your next hearing aid could make personalized suggestions much like how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness goals or how Netflix recommends your next movie based on your viewing trend. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being manufactured by a few companies, to learn your behaviors. Some go as far as to crowdsource data about people’s usage habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. All this info allows the hearing aids to determine your preferences and make adjustments on the fly so that if you’re at home watching TV or you’re at an IMAX theater (for example), you’ll get the best sound.
Getting Rid of The Batteries For Good
Ya, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t require batteries? It can be very inconvenient making certain you have spare batteries or that your hearing aids are completely charged. While a hearing aid that doesn’t use any batteries at all may seem like wishful thinking, rechargeable battery technology keeps improving. You’ll get quicker charging time, longer use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.