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IHearYou®

By

  • Blamey Saunders hears
  • Leah Heiss
  • SRX Global
  • Planet Innovation

Description

IHearYou® is the world’s first hearing aid solution that lets users easily tune their acoustic preferences themselves, instead of an audiologist.
The modern, attractive hearing system uses a Bluetooth enabled programmer to connect hearing aids to a smartphone application designed for adjusting settings.
In Australia, over 4 million people have hearing loss; many risk physical, cognitive and mental health issues by not addressing it. IHearYou® removes barriers that prevent people from obtaining hearing aids, like cost, distance and stigma. It also eliminates the major problem of unsatisfactory tuning by audiologists, ensuring what a user hears is perfect for their needs.

Key Features

1

IHearYou® is the world’s first smartphone based ‘self-fit’ hearing aid system that gives people proactive control of their hearing health. It provides access to an advanced range of acoustic characteristics users can easily customise themselves.
Research reveals the greater sense of involvement in the hearing aid set-up process a user has, the greater benefit they receive. IHearYou® empowers hearing aid wearers with a new level of personal control, removing the financial burden and loss of time associated with visiting an audiologist solely for fine tuning. Settings can be adjusted anytime, should a user’s hearing, environments or preferences change.

2

IHearYou® lets users optimise their hearing aid settings under real world conditions. Audiologist tuning rarely takes place in real-world situations, and people commonly refuse to wear their hearing aids if they don’t sound ‘right’. A virtual ‘audiologist in your pocket’, IHearYou® enables users to create a range of ‘special programs’ with settings optimised for different listening situations. A memory in our hearing aids collects this information, and programs can be accessed by pressing a small switch.
Once IHearYou® has been configured, our hearing aids will adapt to changes in a soundscape, such as sudden crowd cheers in a sporting arena.

3

IHearYou®’s aesthetics focus on health, wellness and discretion; study shows people avoid hearing aids because of perceived unattractiveness and stigma. IHearYou®’s application graphics were designed with a minimalistic elegance that makes it both attractive and easy to navigate. Modelled on sound waves and geometries found in nature, the programmer, Incus, ergonomically fits to the hand and slips easily into a pocket – allowing for maximum mobility and in-situ reprogramming. IHearYou® gives the power of disclosure to users; they can use the aesthetically appealing system in public and decide whether or not to expose its function.

4

IHearYou® translates potentially unfamiliar audiology terminology into an interface that is quick and easy to navigate. Extensively tested in our target demographic of 60-plus, IHearYou® is simple to set up without instructions. The durable programmer, Incus, is efficiently powered by a triple A battery and can be easily connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth; colour coded cords at the end of a Y shaped cable differentiate left from right hearing aid leads; and the application’s interface logically guides the user through each step. Thorough testing and correlating refinements ensured a successful pairing of contemporary graphic design and interface usability.

5

IHearYou® is designed to save users thousands of dollars, with the inbuilt productivity gains of centralised expert support and online hearing testing (which forms a user’s initial settings). Users are granted unlimited internet and telecommunications based assessment and rehabilitation. We call this ‘tele-audiology’. Support staff can view a user’s adjustment settings and offer technical and medical advice; they ensure acoustic settings are appropriate for the user and contact them if changes suggesting a serious underlying condition are observed. When a user uses a computer, technicians can ‘screen share’ to assist with tuning and be the ‘expert in your living room’.

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