MythBuster Adam Savage Says Hearing Aids "Freaking Changed My Life"


I’m impressed with the Widex phone app.


It appears to be a new video, more of an ad for Widex than his previous show segment. The original presentation that he made on his show, which Widex used as a promo on their site but apparently edited out a telling part at the end of the original video on the economics of the hearing aid industry and how Savage hoped it would change. I wonder if there was a similar end to the newer video that also got edited?

and this post in the thread:

You know, it’s a good point and I’ve long felt that way, that they probably cost about $50 to produce and they sell them for $5000. Unreasonable, right?

There’s always more to the story. Recently, my startup has been looking into FDA certification, and the fact is it takes two years of record keeping and applications and filings and about 15 million dollars to certify a new health-related product. You can shorten that to about half that time and cost if it’s got a closely-related predicate.

Developing and certifying a new hearing aid is thus astronomically expensive related to the composition of the device and its features, and the market is tiny in relation to any mainstream consumer electronics device.

Combine the two of those and you have the simple truth that the manufacturer has to amortize a huge development cost over a relatively small quantity of product, and that raises the price.

Do they make a good profit? For sure. But it’s probably on the order of 10X (which is fairly customary for a premium electronic device) not the egregious 100X as it seems at face value.

Frankly, I think it’s up to the collective wealth of the society to fund developments like this for the health and well-being of its people, so that everyone who needs one could get one.

I’d much rather have my tax dollars go to underwriting hearing aids and other health-related development costs, rather than to a more and more unreasonably bloated war budget that has killed several million innocent people in the last 15 years, which is all we have to show for the 6 trillion dollars that we pissed away.

But I guess that makes me a commie. Mea culpa.