ReSound, Bloomington, Minn, has launched ReSound Alera, a wireless hearing aid that allows patients to receive sound directly from the device without cables, wires, or the need to wear accessories.
Operating on the 2.4 GHz frequency, Alera and the accompanying Unite series of wireless accessories introduce a new approach to the way a hearing aid receives sound from devices such as TVs, stereos, cell phones, and computers, says the company.
“With Alera, there is no intermediary device, the signal goes directly to the hearing aid and users have complete freedom,” says Laurel Christensen, PhD, the company’s chief audiology officer.
Users can tune directly into their TV and connect their mobile phone to their hearing aid via Bluetooth technology. They can participate in conversations while tuned into devices because environmental noise is not blocked out.
“Traditionally it has been hard for hearing aid users to connect directly to their TVs or telephones," Christensen says, noting that the hearing device streams sound from these devices directly to their hearing aids, allowing users to be successful in more situations than ever, and making their overall satisfaction with hearing aids that much higher,
Because the hearing device uses 2.4 GHz wireless technology, it can be easily fitted without the use of a device to connect the hearing aid to the fitting software. All that is needed is the AirLink fitting accessory, which is inserted into the USB port of a computer. This technology, though new to hearing aids, has been proven in the gaming industry and in the use of wireless keyboards.
“A big benefit for the hearing aid dispensers is the ability to fit Alera completely wirelessly,” Christensen says. “Gone are the days of hunting around for the right cables and the patient having to wear a hook around their neck. For the first time, fitting is directly from computer to hearing aid.”
Alera and Unite feature chips with computational power and a robust design that leverages the iSolate nanotech coating to protect the hearing aid from water, sweat, and corrosion, says the company.