Sign Language Translator
Krown Manufacturing Inc, Fort Worth, Tex, introduces the Sign Language Translator, designed to teach people how to use sign language. The touch-screen device can be used as a teaching tool for those who wish to learn sign to communicate with the deaf. It offers more than 3,500 words, and includes a selection of pronouns, numbers, and the alphabet. Upgrades and memory cards will be available via the Internet. Upgrades include features such as industry-specific words (ie, medical signs, children signs, and baby signs). Scheduled to be released in mid 2009.
TV Talker with Neckloop
Warner Tech-care, St Paul, Minn, now supplies the new Williams Sound WIR 250, TV Talker with neckloop, suitable for TV listening, meetings, or any small-group listening application. The system connects directly to a TV, VCR, or DVD equipped with standard output jacks. The WIR 250 system features the versatile receiver, which magnetically transfers the audio from the transmitter into a hearing aid equipped with a T-coil.
Harris Communications, Eden Prairie, Minn, offers Serene Innovations’ UA-50 phone amplifier, for people who need extra amplification on their phone at work. The amplifier attaches to business phones for clear calls that are amplified up to 170 times louder on handsets or headsets. The device is available with the H141N DuoSet noise-cancelling headset with a RJ9 adapter, which is worn over the ear or over the head to enable users to multitask while keeping their hands free. Other headset options are available.
Bedside Fire Alarm
Lifetone Technology, Oklahoma City, introduces the Lifetone HL Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock. Many people don’t wake up to a standard smoke alarm sound, due to its high frequency. The Lifetone HL Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock listens for the sound that is broadcast by existing smoke alarms, then emits a low-frequency, 520Hz alarm and activates a bed shaker, the technologies proven most effective at waking people up in a fire. The Lifetone HL also functions as a daily alarm clock.
Personal FM Listening System
The new Motiva Personal FM 360 listening system available from Assistech, Tucson, Ariz, mixes and broadcasts a speaker’s voice plus an audio program, simultaneously, in one room. The sleek, lightweight system provides hearing assistance when background noise or distance from the sound source makes listening difficult. It is useful for small groups, classrooms, employee training, consultation, TV and audio listening, car trips, and restaurant visits. The system features 16 selectable channels on 72-76MHz, and has an operating range of up to 150 feet. The T36 transmitter for the speaker has a flexible 3.5 mm mic jack, push-button on/off/mute controls, and adjustable compression and channel lock.
Health Enterprises Inc, North Attleboro, Mass, now offers Acu-Life Ear Irrigator, a safe, user-friendly, and effective way to cleanse ears, and prevent ear wax buildup. The product features a flared tip design to help ensure it will not be over-inserted into the ear canal, with a tri-stream tip to direct fluid against ear canal walls. The pressure-control bottle allows users to control the amount and pressure of rinse.
Self-Forming Hearing Protection
Audiology Solutions, Castle Rock, Colo, announces DentalEar/MusiciansEar: the only self-forming, high-fidelity hearing protection system that can be fit same day in the office without the need for ear impressions. DentalEar/MusiciansEar features patented SmartWear stent technology evolved from the coronary stent industry and developed by General Hearing. This revolutionary advance in technology allows for the comfort of a custom-fit device without the need for impressions. Sound reduction is achieved utilizing an ER-15 dB attenuated response filter for dental professionals and an ER-25 dB attenuated response for musicians.
50 Gain Receiver
Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, has introduced the Zon XM 50 receiver, providing 50 dB of gain. When paired with Starkey’s feedback system (AFI), the hearing aid gives patients significantly improved sound quality and speech audibility. For hearing professionals, Zon provides a wide fitting range for receiver-in-canal hearing aids. The device is possible due to BluWave Signal Processing (SP), which provides the flexibility to make evidence-based enhancements to products to improve the patient experience.
Rexton, Plymouth, Minn, is featuring a new RIC instrument, Cobalt. Small and discreet, Cobalt offers state-of-the-art features such as automatic situation detection, automatic equalizer, automatic acclimatization, and automatic noise reduction. The optional remote control allows wearers to operate volume and program changes and powers the instrument on and off. Cobalt instruments feature Bluetooth wireless connectivity, enabling easy connections to mobile phones, stereos, TVs, or audio devices through the Blu RCU, an optional, state-of-the-art remote control unit.
Sonic Innovations Inc, Salt Lake City, recently introduced Sonic Touch, its first receiver-in-canal (RIC) device, and company officials say the device is the smallest receiver-in-canal product available in the market. Sonic Touch is offered at three technology levels and is available in a choice of five base colors and 15 accent color clips. The three products are readily identified by the number of processing channels. Sonic Touch 6 has six channels and two programs; Sonic Touch 12 has 12 channels and three programs; and Sonic Touch 24 has 24 channels, four programs, and voice alerts. Touch provides natural sound quality, driven by Sonic Sound technology and its proprietary digital noise reduction and DIRECTIONALfocus systems.
Be by ReSound, Bloomington, Minn, is now available in both instant-fit and custom models. The remote microphone provides many benefits to patients and hearing care professionals, including natural wind noise reduction. Its unique placement in the helix allows the ear to act as a natural shield, protecting the microphone from irritating wind noise. The company has also introduced an accessory that enables its hearing instruments to communicate wirelessly with Bluetooth-compatible cell phones, MP3 players, and navigation systems.
Nios micro BTE
New products from Swiss-based Phonak (US headquarters, Warrenville, Ill) include the high-performance Nios, a new pediatric solution, utilizing Phonak’s SoundRecover technology, for users with all degrees of hearing loss. Nios micro BTE completes the company’s Junior portfolio, providing a hearing instrument with SoundRecover across all hearing loss ranges. Nios micro is based on CORE technology and offers industry benchmarks for feedback elimination, frequency compression, and FM compatibility. It is suited for children with mild to moderately severe hearing loss, which is estimated to be half of all children with hearing loss. The Junior portfolio also includes Naída and Audéo YES.
Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc, Piscataway, NJ, is offering new product models in the Motion line that are designed for comfort-minded wearers. The Motion line has expanded to include 300 and 100 models, complementing the popular 700 and 500 models. Motion gives those with mild to severe hearing loss a flexible, rechargeable, and convenient hearing loss solution.
Bernafon, Bern, Switzerland (with US headquarters in Somerset, NJ), has introduced Vérité, a premium receiver-in-the-ear hearing instrument, which features standard and power receivers—for mild to severe hearing losses, binaural communication, Bluetooth connectivity, and slim-line remote control. Bernafon’s proprietary ChannelFree digital signal-processing handles the incoming speech signal in its entirety, preserving its natural structure, which is compromised in multichannel systems, according to the company. Bernafon’s Bluetooth device, called SoundGate, links the Vérité hearing system to external auditory sources and Bluetooth-enabled devices such as cell phones, MP3 music players, TVs, GPS, personal computers, and more.
Somerset, NJ-based Oticon Inc’s new Hit is a hearing solution offering a range of features and styles for budget-conscious consumers. Hit and Hit Pro offer a wide range of model choices to fit mild to severe-to-profound hearing losses up to 105 dB HL. The sophisticated RISE platform gives Hit and Hit Pro a high bandwidth (8kHz) for first-rate sound quality, outcome-based automatic decision making, adaptive directionality, noise management, and dynamic feedback cancellation. Open fittings are available as RITE style or as Corda 2 thin tube adaptors. Available in 10 vibrant colors for BTE and RITE.
S Series with Drive Architecture
The new S Series with Drive Architecture is the new family of hearing aids from Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, developed with the company’s evidence-based design approach. S Series is available in custom and a first-ever full line of receiver-in-canal (RIC) options. Drive Architecture, the company’s newest, state-of-the-art integrated circuit platform, delivers maximum performance, power, and patient satisfaction, the company says. Powered by multicore technology, Drive relies on independent and fully programmable open architecture processors to carry out tasks in parallel by using simultaneous multithreading technology. The technology triples the processing power of previous platforms, allowing for efficient, high-speed multitasking of signal processing algorithms for better performance, while significantly improving battery life over Starkey’s previous technology platform.
The company has integrated key features directly into hearing aids and fitting software so custom products are guaranteed to fit the first time. The line features master craftsmanship in custom fittings and open vent options, and first-rate feedback cancellation.
The line also includes the new S Series AP (Absolute Power), a patient-proven RIC that offers between 60 and 71dB of peak gain.
Beltone, Glenview, Ill, has recently introduced Beltone Touch, a family of instruments that accommodate hearing losses from mild to severe. The discreet instruments are worn deep in the ear, close to the tympanic membrane, and feature a small (custom) power instrument, an open-in-ear device, and an instant-fit option. The transparent tube connecting the shell and microphone serves as a lock, holding the device securely in place. The microphone is in the recessed back end of the concha, hidden under the helix and separated from the receiver, resulting in less feedback. The improved adaptive active feedback cancellation suppresses acoustic feedback to reduce whistling noise. Smart Gain lets users fine-tune amplification settings to automatically adjust to their surroundings; the device features seven calibrated environment settings.
Audina Hearing Instruments Inc, Longwood, Fla, announces the arrival of its flx digital hearing instrument, wearable as an over-the-ear or behind-the-ear aid. The ergonomically designed instrument features iScroll digital volume control. The new push-button memory switch has a distinct click, and is triple-perspiration-proof, with three layers of protection—including a hermetically sealed level. The 8-channel instrument, with 12-band gain adjustment, offers Softwave, which addresses incoming high-intensity sounds. The adaptive feedback cancellation system provides up to 22dB of added stable gain while preserving the spectral information. Powered by a 312 battery, the device features a fully programmable telephone coil, event-data logging, programmable power-on delay, and an environmental recognition system. It is available with an ear hook.
HearO M60 and M80
Avada Audiology and Hearing Care Centers, Louisville, Ky, has introduced the HearO M60 and M80, part of the HearO M Series, which includes M100 and M120. The M Series is a family of mid-priced hearing instruments suitable for all types of hearing losses within the mild to severe range. HearO’s SoundChoice continuously and automatically optimizes the settings of its advanced digital features—including multi-band adaptive directionality, tristate noise management, VC learning, and automatic adaptation manager. The HearO M Series comes in a full range of styles from behind the ears to the various in-the-ear models and a Mini Power BTE model. The Mini Power BTE allows for greater fitting potential for moderately to severely hearing impaired people. It has several small and powerful battery solutions.
Ear Gear Eyeglasses
Ear Gear, Lake Country, British Columbia, introduces Ear Gear Eyeglasses, the latest addition to its product line of hearing instrument security and protection devices. They offer a convenient security solution for clients who wear both a hearing instrument and glasses. The flexible rubber “o” rings attached to the Ear Gear sleeve simply slip over the arms of any pair of glasses, creating fashionable security for the wearer. The product is available in all six of the company’s models, in beige only.
Styles for the Ears
Tube Riders, Nashville, Tenn, let kids decorate, individualize, and destigmatize their BTEs or CIs, and help children accept the aids faster by making them cool. Bright and colorful, they slip onto the tube portion of a BTE or onto the ear hook of cochlear implants. A mom said Tube Riders changed her child from different into special and made kids love their BTEs.
Hearing Instrument Dryer
Westone Laboratories, Colorado Springs, Colo, now offers the latest hearing instrument maintenance device from the makers of Dry & Store. Zephyr is compact and easy-to-use, making it perfect for travel. Utilizing the same principles as clothes drying on a line, Zephyr gently circulates warm, dry air around the hearing instrument. The specially formulated Dry-Brik® desiccant then captures the moisture. Used daily, Zephyr removes damaging moisture, dries earwax, and removes odor. The result is hearing instruments that sound better, last longer, and need fewer repairs.
Raycare Solutions, Lincoln, Neb, introduces The Deflector hearing instrument moisture guard. Enjoy all of life’s activities without the fear of moisture damaging a behind-the-ear (BTE) investment. The wearer of a BTE instrument can be involved in everything from strenuous activity to a walk in the rain. The simple, lightweight, clear plastic design deflects moisture away from the hearing instrument. The on-and-off application allows clients to use The Deflector when moisture occurs and remove it when not needed. It also helps in dusty situations, because dirt is not attracted to dry areas.
Lightning Vac 2
Lightning Enterprises, Limington, Me, announces the Lightning Vac 2, a compact vacuum pump designed for effective hearing aid cleaning and maintenance. The Lightning Vac 2 system offers exceptional performance and includes a suction port with vacuum tubing, compressor port for blowing air, compressor tubing with lock fitting for cleaning or obstruction removal, filter wand for trapping debris, and five various size needle tips. Options include vacuum desiccator jar and carrying case.
Portable Hearing Aid Vacuum
JodiVac LLC, Portland, Ore, offers the Jodi-PRO, a portable hearing aid vacuum cleaner for hearing health care professionals. The 12-volt DC unit has a motor that provides 2,000 hours of clinical use, and two specially milled needles—one for ITE, ITC, and CIC instruments; another for BTE tubing and all other earmolds. The same replaceable filtered syringe provides ease of maintenance and infection control. Syringes and replacement needles are available in economical packages. The syringe has a built-in flow indicator to show when the needle is plugged. A brush is molded into the box for dislodging debris from the needle, and a reamer is included for blockages.
Musicians and Hearing Loss
Plural Publishing, San Diego, has released a new book from Marshall Chasin, AuD, titled Hearing Loss in Musicians, Prevention and Management. The editor and contributors are experts in their relative fields and work daily with performing arts professionals who are endangered by exposure to high-volume sound. The 186-page soft-cover tome presents some of the anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism; medical problems associated with exposure to long-term, high-volume sounds in the musical environment; and hearing protection and practical advice on preventive measures.
Mead Killion has penned the foreword. Contributors include Richard S. Tyler, PhD; Anne K. Gehringer; Hugh McDermott, PhD; Doran Hayes, B Mus, MSc; and Frank Russo, PhD.
Telephone Skills Improvement Program
Costa Mesa, Calif-based CareCredit’s Telephone Skills Improvement Program is designed to give hearing care professionals the tools, techniques, and scripts to turn phone inquiries into hearing aid sales, and is available free to CareCredit enrolled practices. It consists of three audio CDs, each containing three educational sessions. Each session is about 10 to 15 minutes long, and can be incorporated into a team lunch-and-learn or weekly training meeting, or as part of an ongoing staff development program.
Vision USA a Dentrex company, Cherry Hill, NJ, has just released its 2009 optical catalog, featuring a full line of magnification, safety, and lighting products. It includes magnification products that clip on/flip up +1.0-+4.0, head loupes, Megaview or Megaview LED 1.7x-4.0x, Lana telescope loupe 2.5x-5.0x, single-eye 3.0x-15x, handheld 3.0x-20.0x, Prismatic lens, safety bifocal glasses (clear, curing orange, amber, smoked, and casting/soldering green) +1.0-+3.0, laser safety glasses, LED-lighted loupe or clip-ons and handheld systems with/without magnification, and digital camera microscopes.
Third Edition of Hearing Loss Handbook
Auricle Ink Publishers, Sedona, Ariz, offers the third edition of The Consumer Handbook on Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids: A Bridge to Healing, Richard E. Carmen, AuD, editor. Distinguished audiologists, physicians, and scientists have contributed chapters and knowledge on hearing loss issues. A couple of chapters have been retired, and others have been revised and updated, most notably the chapter on hearing aids. Added to the new edition are chapters on tinnitus (Grant Searchfield, PhD), telecoils and wireless assistive listening (David Myers, PhD), assistive technologies (Laine Waggoner, MS), and new Q-and-As. The title is available in hard and soft covers.
Book Traces History of Audiology Profession
Plural Publishing Inc, San Diego, has just released Audiology in the USA, by James Jerger, PhD—a 100-page volume aiming to give students and young audiologists a sense of the history of the profession. Beginning with the first commercial audiometers, it traces the development of the profession, and principal subspecializations that have developed during the past 50 years. Emphasis is placed on the contributions of the many individual clinicians and researchers who have pioneered various aspects of the audiological knowledge base and its wide clinical applications.
Warner Tech-care Products, Roseville, Minn, now offers patient brochures available that advertise in-office solutions for noise and water problems. Instant fitting Ear-guard is a gun-dispensed material that sets up in 5 minutes and provides a 23dB NRR measured protection. Ear-guard is quick, sanitary, and durable. Aqua-guard is a hand-mixed and syringe-dispensed material that sets up directly in the ear. These floatable plugs are perfect for bathing and swimming.
Oaktree Products Inc, Chesterfield, Mo, introduces affordable operating microscopes. The binocular magnification can make procedures like cerumen removal and the placement of extended wear hearing instruments much easier. Oaktree provides Seiler microscopes, one of the oldest names in the surgical magnification business. High-quality Seiler scopes use precision German lenses. Also, the new 2009 Oaktree products catalog is now available, containing 3,700 items and featuring more than100 new items.
User-Friendly Otoscope System from MedRx
MedRx Inc, Largo, Fla, offers its user-friendly Video Otoscope System. Features include a miniature color video camera and a deluxe otoscope probe with an aluminum body and stainless steel conical tip that tapers down to 3 mm. The hearing health care practitioner has several configurations to choose from, such as an external light source or battery LED light source as well as software and a USB 2.0 capture device for computer interface, or a 19-inch flat-screen monitor for general application. The MedRx Video Otoscope System requires no focusing and is the perfect tool for performing cerumen management.
Otovation, King of Prussia, Pa, offers the patented OTOPod and Amplitude T-Series computer-controlled, wireless audiometers powered by new Symphony software. These instruments bring efficient testing into the examination room, into the patient’s home, or into the occupational test setting. OTOPod, a diagnostic audiometer, tests AC/BC and prerecorded speech. The Symphony software suite and its NOAH Module for OTOPod are designed for on-the-go testing, especially by the hearing instrument dispenser. New features include “always on” wireless connection, customizable prerecorded word lists and audiogram symbols, and the addition of semiautomated testing.
Following the success of May’s launch of uHear, a self-administered hearing screening test for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Unitron, Kitchener, Ontario, has announced the application is now available in English worldwide, free of charge. The proceeds from uHear’s 99 cent downloads during May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month will be donated in the form of hearing instruments by Unitron to the Carabez Alliance—helping to improve hearing awareness and support children with speech hearing loss.
Performance Criteria DVD
Pehratek Products, Chaska, Minn, has announced the availability of a new Hearing Aid Performance Criteria (HAPC) DVD designed to give the dispenser a quick verification of any hearing aid’s performance in eight different listening situations in 10 minutes or less. The DVD can be played in any computer or home theater system to quickly access 10 sound and motion video samples that simulate listening in a restaurant, traffic, small groups, music and distance listening, speech-in-noise, loud sounds, and directionality. A checklist is provided to easily incorporate HAPC protocol into the final fitting process to give the dispenser and patient the confidence that the instruments are performing to expectations prior to beginning the trial period.
An Oasis of Relief
Neuromonics’ noninvasive, FDA-cleared Oasis device is customized to the patient’s unique hearing and tinnitus profile. It delivers a customized stimulus that promotes neural changes, allowing the brain to filter out the disturbing tinnitus sound. This stimulus is delivered within spectrally modified, customized music, which engages the brain’s emotional response center and the limbic system, and thereby reduces tinnitus-related disturbance.
Hearing Health Micronutrient Supplement
Premier Micronutrient Corp, Nashville, Tenn, offers its Hearing Health micronutrient supplement designed to reduce tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and provide cellular protection against hearing impairment and balance disorders. Clinical findings indicate that patients receiving the Hearing Health supplement in addition to standard therapy performed better on all measures than those receiving standard therapy alone.
Clearly Heard Inc, Glendale, Calif, has introduced Hear Reliever, a new supplement formulated to assist patients with the symptoms associated with ringing or buzzing in the ear. Hearing supplements have been shown to be effective in reducing and/or eliminating tinnitus in some patients. Hear Reliever’s formula includes glutathione (a key element in helping to prevent free radical damage), CoQ10 (an antioxidant that promotes cellular energy), and NAC (an amino acid shown to repair damaged hair cells of the inner ear). Health Care Professional discounts and affiliate programs are available.