Oticon HearingFitness™, the first hearing aid app dedicated to hearing fitness, won a CES Innovation Award in the Software and Mobile Apps category.
Just like an exercise tracker, HearingFitness monitors the wearer’s “hearing fitness”—the impact of hearing on their overall health—and provides advice and encouragement that helps the wearer hear better and stay healthy. With hearing loss ranking as the third most common chronic health issue in the U.S., one affecting more than 48 million Americans, closer attention to hearing health can reduce the risk of other ailments, including dementia.
The Oticon HearingFitness app is used in conjunction with Oticon Opn™ internet-connected hearing aids and tracks hearing aid use, listening environments, and other behavior, collating the data with measurements of heart rate, sleep patterns, and other health markers from other wearable devices to give hearing aid users advice and encouragement on ways to hear better, protect their hearing, and stay healthy.
“The HearingFitness app helps people with hearing loss understand how their behavior and hearing health habits can influence how effective their treatment is,” said Don Schum, Ph.D., Vice President of Audiology at Oticon. “Hearing plays a huge role in people’s overall health and well-being, and HearingFitness, paired with Opn, encourages routine use of hearing aids to improve hearing and the ability to engage in social settings.”
A growing body of evidence indicates the benefits of maintaining hearing health. Most recently, a July 2017 study on dementia prevention, intervention, and care have concluded that, from midlife, hearing loss (and the social isolation it often causes) is the biggest risk factor in later development of dementia.
HearingFitness depends on three elements:
- Oticon Opn™ hearing aids analyze sound environments, measure and track hearing aid use, and export recorded data to the Oticon HearingFitness™ app for further analysis.
- The Oticon HearingFitness app receives data from Oticon Opn hearing aids and analyzes current sound environments, listening effort, total daily hearing aid use, and historical usage data. Based on actual use and relevant user feedback, the app helps users optimize the use of their hearing aids.
- Back-end analytics will evaluate anonymized user data for insights involving general health, lifestyle, and social dependencies to guide users toward healthier habits.
“HearingFitness empowers users to learn about their hearing and take charge of their long-term health and well-being through their hearing habits,” said Schum. “They gain a sense of belonging to a new generation that’s on top of their hearing and health, instead of being defined by it. But most importantly, HearingFitness encourages users to wear their hearing aids more and helps generate data that will lead to better hearing care and, ultimately, better and more rewarding lives.”
Oticon will demo HearingFitness and its internet-connected hearing aid, Oticon Opn, Jan. 9-12 at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Visit booth 43949 in the Sands for a look at this award-winning technology.