Austin, Tex — A start-up device manufacturer has released a self-testing hearing evaluation system and hearing aid. The company, Austin, Tex-based Audiotoniq, has introduced the “Audiotoniq Professional Hearing Test” and a digital BTE at the 2011 Hearing Loss Association of America Convention in Washington, DC.
The company’s first digital hearing aid is scheduled to be released in early fall 2011. The new self-testing system will be available first in the Austin area and then will be rolled out to other major Texas markets, and eventually nationally.
"Audiotoniq hearing aids are fitted to the individual’s needs based on the audiogram they provide, similar to the way they would be fitted in an in-person visit to an audiologist," says a company representative. "The audiogram can be obtained through an audiologist, or by taking the Audiotoniq hearing test, which will be available in various convenient locations."
After being fitted, customers can make additional adjustments as needed by using an Audiotoniq smart-phone app. The company will also provide “after-the-sale” support, such as access to an audiologist via phone, email or live online chat. Video chat will be available within six months of launch. Consumers can also make appointments for Audiotoniq’s customer care representatives or audiologist.
The company describes the self-test system as a portable device that provides accurate audiogram and baseline hearing assessments that can be conducted in a variety of settings, such as schools, physician offices, and pharmacies.
"Audiotoniq has been working on the hearing test system for nearly two years, and we are excited that it is finally coming to fruition," Russ Apfel, founder and CEO of Audiotoniq, said. "The system will make hearing testing easy and affordable, helping to identify any hearing problems for those who might have never planned on getting tested."
The self-test device does not require an operator to administer the test and has wireless connectivity, which allows for results to be printed or sent to an electronic medical record system. The reported low-cost testing system includes a computer with video instructions and easy-to-follow prompts.
Audiotoniq says that the personally programmable audio device will cost considerably less than comparable hearing aids currently on the market. It is said to allow users to control their hearing aid settings without consulting with a service provider.
The new hearing aid system is also designed to be used with digital media devices, such as MP3 players, and contains a re-chargeable lithium ion battery that will last approximately 30 hours between charges.