Oticon Unveils HearingFitness™, the World’s First Hearing Health Fitness Tracker, at CES 2018

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#1

Oticon Unveils HearingFitness™, the World’s First Hearing Health Fitness Tracker, at CES 2018

Copenhagen, Denmark

9 January 2018

Hearing aid provider Oticon to launch a new hearing fitness app which provides users of Oticon’s life changing Opn™ hearing aids with health improving benefits, including battling hearing loss related dementia*

Introducing the world’s first hearing fitness tracking technology to explore the full potential of advanced analytics. The new HearingFitness™ app from leading hearing aid provider, Oticon, launches at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 9-12, 2018. #Hearingkeepsyoufit

The Oticon HearingFitness™ app is designed to help people with hearing loss understand how their behavior and hearing health habits can influence how effective their treatment is and the impact it has on their overall health and well-being. The HearingFitness™ app is used in conjunction with Oticon Opn™ hearing aids, the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid and winner of two CES Innovations Awards in 2017**.

Noisy environments pose the biggest challenge for people with hearing loss. Keeping up with conversations in restaurants, bars, around the dinner table or at meetings can be difficult and exhausting. Utilising a combination of data from the hearing aid and big data from lifestyle and healthcare data sources, the HearingFitness™ app helps Opn™ users optimise their hearing aid use to fulfil their hearing potential in different situations.

By encouraging increased hearing aid use, the HearingFitness™ app helps those with hearing loss benefit from the many positive health improvements that come from wearing hearing aids. Wearing Opn™ hearing aids to treat a hearing impairment lets users once again enjoy sound and social interaction, both of which stimulate the brain and ultimately helps reduce the common side effects associated with untreated hearing loss, such as fatigue, withdrawal and stress. Treating hearing loss effectively in mid-life by wearing aids even reduces the risk of early on-set dementia. In a recent study authored by the Lancet commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care***, hearing loss was listed as the largest modifiable risk factor contributing to Dementia.

At its outdoor inspired Booth, No. 43949 in the Sands Expo at CES, Oticon will offer interactive displays and hands-on demonstrations of Opn’s new HearingFitness™ app. Visitors can also experience Opn™ hearing aids which feature Oticon’s pioneering BrainHearing™ technology to help those with hearing loss tackle everyday noisy situations. While tutorials on the use of the IFTTT network with the world’s first internet-connected hearing aids will demonstrate how to create ‘smart’ IoT recipes for connected-technology

Oticon audiologists and hearing technology specialists will be on hand to discuss how the world’s first hearing tracking technology will help people with hearing loss lead healthier lives, including: Product Manager, Michael Porsbo, a major contributor to the conception and fruition of the world’s first IoT hearing aid, Opn™.

“The HearingFitness™ app is designed to provide Opn™ hearing aid users with advice and encouragement on ways to use their hearing aid more, hear better, and ultimately stay healthy,” says Michael Porsbo. “The first of its kind, this new app provides data-driven hearing care to empower a digital generation of hearing aid users with insights to enable them to keep their mental faculties sharp and therefore optimize their health.”

Innovation Awards Winner

The Oticon HearingFitness™ app has been awarded a CES 2018 Innovation Award in the Software and Mobile Apps category. This award is further recognition of Oticon’s commitment to evolving life-enhancing technology for people with hearing loss, and praise indeed for the latest feature to be introduced to the already technologically advanced Opn™ hearing aid solution.

To arrange to meet with key Oticon personnel during your visit to CES 2018, please contact Katrine Hertz Østergaard, email: khos@oticon.com

*Livingston et al, 2017

**Oticon Opn™ was honored with 2017 CES Innovations Awards in two categories – Tech for a Better World and Wearable Technologies

***Livingstone et al, 2017 – Dementia prevention, intervention and care

About Oticon

500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The majority are over the age of 50 while eight percent are under the age of 18. It is Oticon’s ambition that our customers - hearing clinics throughout the world - prefer to use our products for people with impaired hearing. Through passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon develops and manufactures hearing aids for both adults and children. Oticon supports every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe and we pride ourselves on developing some of the most innovative hearing aids in the market. Headquartered out of Denmark, we are a global company and part of William Demant Holding Group with more than 12,000 employees and revenues of over DKK 12 billion. www.oticon.global

https://www.oticon.global/about/press/news/2018/oticon-unveils-hearingfitness


#2

An app to reward you for wearing your hearing aids. Would you like a gold star with that? I tried that with my child when she was four. Perhaps they will add a gyroscope and step counter next.

There Is still no proven causal relationship between hearing loss and dementia but don’t let that fact get in the way of a good advertising spin.


#3

This is correct… Hearing impairment: A modifiable risk for dementia?

Also, check out this recent quote:

Although cross-sectional studies provide valuable insight into the correlation of hearing loss and dementia, they cannot provide causality, making it difficult to observe the etiology behind the connection. More prospective studies should be done on this subject in order to identify causation rather than just correlation.


#4

The Mini Mental State Exam is meant to be an initial screening tool. It is not a diagnostic tool. The great majority of the studies fail to even ensure their diagnosis is correct before drawing this conclusion. Both hearing loss and dementia have an increased incidence in the elderly. If they were noticing the decline in children and young adults that would be something more convincing. Since both are correlated with age that is all we can really conclude at present.

Personally, I do not think treating the hearing impaired like children(or the cognitively impaired) is a Great Leap Forward. A better way is to look at the reasons people fail to wear hearing aids and do more to fix those eg. Social stigma, comfort, convenience and cost. I would think that telling everyone that hearing loss is associated with dementia is likely to lead to a lot more denial and less people wanting to be diagnosed with hearing loss. It certainly increases the social stigma. Since causation is not proven it is premature to say we can prevent dementia with hearing aids. The studies have too many flaws.


#5

I get alarm signals when I read this too. Sometimes I struggle as a mathematician. My hearing loss has often been a blessing frankly. I can create a space that allows focus. Frenetic focus. I have found that more a blessing than a curse. I do find that the Opn devices go in and are invisible during the day. None of their predecessors achieved that. Same ear molds. Better hearing aid. If the patient is thought or interactions impaired maybe the sales pitch has merit. But as a general statement I think it suffers.


#6

Thank you, @Psocoptera, for reminding us that correlation does not equal causation.

I also agree with your ideas of how to get more people with need to wear hearing aids.

Logically, the association (correlation) makes sense. As we lose our hearing, especially gradually, our brains have to work harder to “fill in the gaps”. As gradual MCI (mild cognitive impairment) sets in, certain brain functions we take for granted (hearing beyond the vestibulocochlear nerve/CN VIII) may deteriorate and make it more difficult to “fill in the gaps”.

In these instances wearing hearing aids, especially if individual is cooperative and has the resources, could help reduce the unconscious cognitive burden on the brain. With active engagement and proper treatment of an individual with MCI, studies exist to show that early intervention can have a tremendous effect. At the best, it can slow progression of both hearing loss and MCI. At the worst, it can simply improve the quality of life of the individual during this time.

I’ve tried to walk a careful line with this post. Just because correlation does not equal causation does not mean that adding hearing aids to a receptive patient can have a significant effect on the outward symptoms and quality of life of someone with MCI.

I’m well aware of many of the variables, caveats and known unknowns and unknown unknowns involved here.

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers,

  • Kermit

#7

Oticon On app needs work. Specifically the Hearing Fitness feature does not work properly with the ZPower rechargeable option, apparently because the aids never really turn off. When I check “On” first thing in the morning the number of hours of wear for the day is exactly the same as the elapsed time since midnight. It also appears that firmware 6 may have broken the battery level feature. Before FW6 my rechargeable batteries read as significantly expended by the end of the day, now they read 100% all the time.