Technology is evolving into smarter, more powerful, and smaller devices. 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 exception. Though hearing issues have a number of causes, hearing issues are more common among older individuals, and the world’s population is getting older. According to the National Institutes of Health, around 37.5 million individuals and 3 million Canadians report having trouble hearing, and since age is a stronger predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number is likely to go up.
If you’re dealing with hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Better ways to minimize hearing loss? Bring ‘em on! Advancements are happening, here are some.
Using Your Hearing Aid to Track Your Whole Body
This one seems like it should be obvious. Health and fitness trackers need to be worn on the body. So, if you already have a device that’s in your ear… do you really need a separate one on your wrist? The answer is no. Or at least, you don’t with some of the newest hearing aids, which along with helping fix hearing difficulties such as tinnitus, will also track your pulse, your physical activity, and a whole lot more. Sure, a wearable such as an Apple Watch can do that, but hearing aids can give you other types of input that can be helpful to monitoring health, like how much time you spend having conversations or listening. Particularly as you get older, your level of social engagement can actually be a key health metric.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Connectivity is the primary watchword, as virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa have advanced from smartphones to in-home devices without missing a beat. Some hearing aids that have 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 lets them use certain Bluetooth channels to stream continuous audio directly to your hearing aid. This type of technology is helping hearing aids function almost like super-powered wireless headphones, making it easier to enjoy music, movies, and more.
Big Data Allows Smart Adjustments
Your next hearing aid could make personalized suggestions much like how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness objectives or how Netflix suggests your next movie in line with your viewing trend. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being developed by a few companies, to learn your behaviors. Some take it one step further, crowdsourcing information on how individuals use their hearing aids anonymizing and then aggregating the data. All this info enables the hearing aids to ascertain your tendencies and make adjustments on the fly so that if you’re at home watching TV or you’re in an IMAX theater (for example), you’ll get the best sound.
Getting Rid of The Batteries For Good
Ya, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t require batteries? It can be very inconvenient making certain you have extra batteries or that your hearing aids are fully charged. While we’re not likely to get hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a continuous advancement in rechargeable technology. You’ll get faster charging time, longer use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.