Ultra-Low-Cost Hearing Aid Could Address Age-Related Hearing Loss Worldwide

Discussion article:

Original paper:


Fascinating. I hope this works out.

I like the 3D printing aspect of the prototype developed - a 3D printer is still a relatively expensive investment for a poor locality but one 3D printer could serve many and allow on the spot customization.

The other interesting aspect is the potential Open Source approach to hearing technology. I wonder what future that has? With Steve Ballmer (in)famously declaring Linux is a cancer upon Windows, you wonder where things stand for the future in the HA industry. Right now, something like 3/4 of the machines in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud are Linux-based! So Linux has come a long way, baby, relative to Windows computing (Microsoft now embraces Linux and Steve Ballmer is no more at Microsoft). I wonder if someday something similar will be in store for the worldwide hearing aid industry - that in most of the less developed regions of the world it will be open-source technology in play, not costly high tech. The article points out (perhaps wrongly) that the prices of components to make a hearing aid have come down but the cost of finished high tech devices has gone up.

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Afaik win will run on linux kernel soon :joy:
So basically, win will become just one of linux flavours.

Which will be nice, because then many vendors providing for win, will probably automatically cover linuxes.

This ultra low cost HA, I don’t see it as such.
I mean, titles and such are implying just a few dollars, but then small print says ‘based on orders of 10000’.

Maybe someone will really buy in bulk and then resell it as DIY kits. I wonder about that cost.

Or how much it would cost to really buy pieces to build it on your own.

But whenever there’s some human work involved, prices will go up.

So, maybe there will be some companies building it, but even if they release all plans in open source, cost for DIY I’d expect to be much higher than just a few bucks.

And then, it’s only an amplifier, not adjusted per loss, no? So calling it HA isn’t right.

I’m all for cheap and DIY solutions and help, I just don’t like bombastic and wrong titles.

For all; who said hearing aids only had a few dollars worth of parts, you are finally right. Read the article and see what you get for a few bucks.

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