iHEAR Medical, San Leandro, Calif, a venture-capital backed firm that specializes in hearing solutions, announced the launch of Eva™, reportedly the first hearing aid designed specifically to address the hearing loss of women.
The company said Eva will be available to order online on July 1, 2017. Orders will ship beginning July 15, 2017.
Gender gap in affordability widens
It is the view of iHEAR Medical that the cost of quality hearing aids has widened the gap in hearing health, with the affluent enjoying clinically-effective hearing solutions while the majority, particularly retired women whose savings are considerably less than those of men, are left without a solution. According to iHEAR Medical, many women simply cannot afford programmable hearing aids available in traditional channels, which currently cost $5,000 or more for a pair. The consequences of untreated hearing loss can be devastating for both men and women, and include lower income, reduced access to healthcare and education, and higher incidence of depression and social isolation.
Women, on average, live longer than men, but their earnings and life savings are generally lower, the company said.
“Introducing Eva as a low-cost solution for women with hearing loss is consistent with iHEAR’s mission to remove barriers for the millions currently denied access to quality hearing care,” said Adnan Shennib, founder & CEO of iHear Medical. The company is developing web-enabled hearing solutions and was founded by Adnan Shennib, who has started and led the development at several Silicon Valley firms, including InSound Medical and the Lyric hearing aid, which was acquired by Sonova-Phonak in 2010. The company also markets the iHearTest, the first FDA-approved hearing test for over-the-counter (OTC) sales, which is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, targeting adults who suspect they have hearing loss or those reluctant to seek professional evaluation for a basic hearing assessment.
iHEAR is pioneering cloud-based hearing solutions to deliver high-quality hearing aids directly to consumers at a fraction of the cost of conventional programmable hearing aids, which cost $2,400 per device, on average, according to the company. Eva and other programmable digital hearing aids offered by iHEAR retail online at $299 per device, bringing the cost of advanced hearing aids in line with prescription eyeglasses.
Eva reportedly incorporates advanced features typically offered in hearing aids costing several thousands of dollars, including multi-memory sound profiles, digital noise suppression, and automatic feedback cancellation. The Eva hearing aid also includes a telecoil for wireless audio reception available by most phones and in public venues such as churches and theaters.
For more information on the Eva, visit: http://www.EvaByiHEAR.com/
Men and women have different hearing loss patterns, says iHear
Even when the degree of hearing loss is comparable between men and women, there are characteristic differences in hearing loss patterns that require different treatment, according to iHear. The company states that women tend to lose hearing first in the low frequencies, while men lose hearing mostly in the higher frequencies. Both genders can also experience difficulty hearing speech, especially in noisy conditions. Therefore, said iHEAR Medical, hearing loss treatment should be tailored for the needs of women by understanding these characteristic differences and customizing hearing aids accordingly.
Although many types of hearing loss can be successfully treated with the use of a hearing aid, some common objections to utilizing them include the comfort of wear, cost, and negative stereotypes that depict hearing aids as noisy and ineffective, according to iHEAR Medical.
According to the company, Eva’s sound processing is tailored to treat distinct hearing loss patterns experienced by women. Loud sounds above 85 dB are reduced for a comfortable listening experience in noisy settings, along with independent suppression of annoying ambient noises for a comfortable long-term listening experience. Eva automatically enhances male and female speech, even in challenging listening situations such as noisy restaurants and social gatherings.
Eva addresses women’s unique anatomical and physiological characteristics
Women generally have smaller ears and hearing aids designed for men can reportedly feel bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Eva is miniaturized for inconspicuous wear behind a woman’s ear and is offered with smaller ear accessories to fit more comfortably and in closer proximity to the eardrum for an exceptional hearing experience, said iHEAR Medical. Eva’s low-profile design ensures a secure fit in the ear for maintaining an active lifestyle, including working, exercise, and even swimming. Eva is offered in a slim, compact form factor with an assortment of color options, including beige, red, and grey.
The Eva hearing aid is personalized at home by the consumer using patented online tools, which deliver male and female speech for the tuning process. Eva can also be shipped pre-customized if audiogram results are submitted with an order, or customized online using EarPiNG™, which connects consumers with licensed hearing professionals for remote programming.
Source: iHEAR Medical