Technology for hearing loss - as We Know it, and as We Dream it

08 Sep 2014

PURPOSE : Worldwide demand for accessible hearing health technology continues to increase while the numbers of hearing healthcare specialists are grossly inadequate to meet this demand. Proliferation of innovative technology and the advent of greater access to global connectivity are providing an opportunity to identify and harness new resources that may change current audiological service delivery methods to maximize access, efficiency and impact. METHODS : By searching through the most current literature and engaging in discussions with industry experts, it is possible to identify avenues that could increase services to those who have hearing loss with innovative healthcare technology. This article aims to review the current state as well as future trends of hearing health technology by addressing: Technology as We Know it; and Technology as We Dream it. RESULTS : Some of the newer technologies we have recently witnessed include: micro processors; personalized computing devices (e.g. smartphones); web-based applications; an expanding clinical repertoire with integrated test equipment; and globalization of telecommunications that opens the door to telehealth; and self-fitting of hearing aids. Yet, innovation continues scaffolding on recent successes with innovations for hearing healthcare expected to increase into the future. CONCLUSION : As technology and connectivity continue to evolve so should the practice of audiology adapt to the global needs by capitalizing on these advances to optimize service delivery access and sustainability.