It seems as if all our devices are getting smarter, stronger, and more compact. In general, the trend is that devices have more features and take up less space.
So it’s not surprising that hearing aids are no different. The world’s population is getting older and hearing issues, though they can have a number of causes, are more common among older individuals. Around 37.5 million adults and 3 million Canadians report some amount of hearing impairment according to the National Institutes of Health. And that number is rising as age is the best demographic variable to predict hearing loss.
If you’re dealing with hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Are there any better ways to manage hearing impairment? Let’s have them! Here are some of the advancements that are happening.
Complete-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This one seems as if it should be obvious. Devices that provide different types of health tracking are nearly always worn and have to be worn close to 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 correcting hearing problems like tinnitus. Sure, a wearable like an Apple Watch can do that, but hearing aids can provide you with other kinds of input that can be helpful to monitoring health, like how much time you spend in active conversation or listening. How much social involvement you get can actually be an important health metric, especially as you get older.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Connectivity is the primary watchword, as virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have advanced from smartphones to in-home devices seamlessly. Some hearing aids that provide Bluetooth capabilities now let users stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for instance, to the hearing aids. Google published open-source standards for Android developers that show them how to use certain channels within Bluetooth to provide uninterrupted audio straight to hearing aids. 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 recommends shows and movies based on what you’ve watched previously, or your Fitbit alerts you to tell you that you’ve reached a goal (or okay, let’s say stepping stone, depending on how ambitious your everyday step goals are), your next hearing aid could make personalized suggestions. The places you go and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being developed by a few companies, to learn your behaviors. Some go as far as to crowdsource data about people’s utilization habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. So whether you’re watching TV at home, or in an IMAX theater, your hearing aids will be able to use this information to identify what your situation is and make adjustments to provide you with the most enjoyable audio experience.
Eliminating The Batteries For Good
We know, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t require batteries? It can be very inconvenient making sure you have extra 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 continues to improve. You’ll get faster charging time, extended use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.