Technology is developing into stronger, smarter, and smaller devices. In general, the trend is that devices do more and take up less space.
Hearing aids are no exception, and it’s not surprising. The world’s population is getting older and hearing problems, though they can have a number of causes, are more common amongst older individuals. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 37.5 million individuals and 3 million Canadians describe having trouble hearing, and since age is a better predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number is likely to increase.
Naturally, if you’re dealing with hearing loss, even one person with trouble hearing, i.e. you, is one person too many. Better ways to alleviate hearing loss? Let’s have them! Advancements are happening, here are some.
Using Your Hearing Aid to Track Your Entire Body
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 nearly always worn and have to be worn on the body. So, if you’ve already got a device that’s in your ear… do you really need another one on your wrist? The answer is no. Or at least, you don’t with some of the newest hearing aids, which in addition to helping fix hearing difficulties like tinnitus, will also keep track of your pulse, your physical activity, and much more. Hearing aids also have the ability to track things that other wearables usually don’t, like the time spent conversing. Particularly as you get older, your level of social involvement can actually be an important health metric.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Connectivity is the major watchword, as virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have advanced from smartphones to in-home devices seamlessly. Some hearing aids that have Bluetooth capabilities now let users stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for example, to the hearing aids. Google published open-source standards for Android developers that show them how to use specific channels within Bluetooth to produce uninterrupted audio directly to hearing aids. This technology is making things like movies and music more enjoyable by acting like super-powered wireless headphones.
Smart Adjustments From Big Data
Your next hearing aid might make individualized suggestions much like how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness objectives or how Netflix suggests your next movie based on your viewing trend. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being developed by several companies, to learn your behaviors. Some go as far as to crowdsource information about people’s usage habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. All this info enables the hearing aids to ascertain your preferences and make adjustments on the fly so that if you’re watching TV at home or you’re in an IMAX theater (for instance), you’ll get the best possible sound.
Getting Rid of The Batteries For Good
Hearing aids that don’t need their batteries changed? Sound too good to be true? It can be very inconvenient making sure you have extra batteries or that your hearing aids are completely charged. While we’re not likely to get hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a continuous improvement in rechargeable technology. You’ll get quicker charging time, longer use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.