Technology is evolving into stronger, smarter, and smaller devices. Taking up less space while having more functionality is the general trend.
So it’s not surprising that hearing aids are no different. Though hearing issues have a variety of causes, hearing problems are more prevalent amongst older people, and the world’s population is getting older. Around 37.5 million people and 3 million Canadians describe some level of hearing impairment according to the National Institutes of Health. And that number is increasing because age is the strongest demographic variable to predict hearing loss.
Naturally, if you’re dealing with hearing loss, even one individual with trouble hearing, i.e. you, is one person too many. Are there any better ways to manage hearing loss? Let’s have them! Here are some of the advancements that are happening.
Whole-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This one seems as if it should be obvious. Health and fitness trackers have 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! Or at least, you don’t with some of the newest hearing aids, which in addition to helping correct for hearing difficulties like tinnitus, will also keep track of your pulse, your physical activity, and much more. 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. Particularly as you age your level of social engagement can actually be a key health metric.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have smoothly moved from smartphones to in-home devices and the principal focus here is connectivity. Some hearing aids that provide Bluetooth capabilities now let users stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for example, 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 straight to your hearing aid. This type of technology is helping hearing aids function almost like super-powered wireless headphones, making it easier to enjoy movies, music, and more.
Smart Adjustments From Big Data
Your next hearing aid could make personalized suggestions similar to how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness goals or how Netflix suggests your next movie in line with your viewing trend. The places you go and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being developed 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. 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 give you the most enjoyable audio experience.
Getting Rid of The Batteries Once And For All
Hearing aids that don’t require their batteries changed? Sound too good to be true? It can be very inconvenient making certain you have spare batteries or that your hearing aids are fully charged. While a hearing aid that doesn’t use any batteries at all may seem like wishful thinking, rechargeable battery technology keeps improving. That means longer in-use time, faster recharging, and less worrying about batteries, all in all, not too shabby.