Oticon Closes Another Gap to Normal Hearing with New Evidence on Listening Effort in Noisy Environments

Copenhagen, Denmark
19 April 2018

Innovative Oticon RemoteCare e-Health Service Aims to Expand Oticon Opn™ 1 Benefits for Hearing Care Professionals and Patients

Oticon continues to expand the possibilities for Oticon Opn™ to benefit people with hearing loss and the hearing care professionals who serve them.  At the 2018 Academy of Audiology Association Conference in Nashville, Oticon researchers are sharing early results of studies that compare listening effort in normal hearing listeners with Opn 1 users.  The results show that with the extremely fast and precise sound processing of the OpenSound Navigator™ technology in Opn 1 hearing aids, it is possible for people with hearing loss to engage in communication in difficult listening situations, similar to their normal hearing peers. Oticon is also previewing the new Oticon RemoteCare, a not-yet-released e-health service that allows hearing care professionals to conduct follow-up appointments with patients online. With Oticon RemoteCare, hearing care professionals can achieve substantial time savings, while offering more comprehensive follow-up care in a way that is convenient for patients, whatever their geographic location.  Pilot studies of Oticon RemoteCare have been initiated in selected clinical settings and an introduction is planned later in 2018. 

Closing Another Gap to Normal Hearing

Earlier studies, using pupillometry, have shown that people with hearing loss give up trying to make sense of sound at a point that would limit many opportunities for socialising in challenging environments such as noisy restaurants. Pupillometry is a well-established tool for measuring effort and the results of pupillometry can be used to assess when the point of “giving up” occurs.  Previous studies using pupillometry have demonstrated that the OpenSound Navigator (OSN) in Opn 1 hearing aids reduces listening effort for people with hearing loss, even in environments where noise is relatively low. Now, a new study  provides evidence that Opn 1 hearing aids with OSN are closing a gap to normal hearing. By reducing listening effort significantly, OSN makes communication less exhausting for those with hearing loss and moves the tipping point or “giving up” point when a person with hearing loss starts to give up to the same “giving up” point as that of people with normal hearing. 

“Two studies, using similar methodology but different populations - normal hearing listeners and listeners with hearing loss – show that Oticon Opn 1 enables people with hearing loss to participate in the same social situations as their normal hearing peers,” said Ole Asboe Jørgensen, President, Oticon Brand, Global.  “This is an important conclusion that informs hearing care professionals that it is possible for people with hearing loss to have active communication in difficult listening situations such as noisy restaurants. It allows hearing care professionals to encourage people using Opn 1 hearing aids to explore listening situations where they may have given up in the past.”

Researchers concluded that wearing well-performing hearing aids that make active communication possible in challenging listening environments helps to ensure that people with hearing loss get the social stimulations they need to keep the brain fit as they age, likely reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

Easing Adaption, Increasing Satisfaction

Oticon RemoteCare is an e-health service that will enable hearing care professionals to use their PCs to conduct follow-up-fitting with patients who are connected via an app on their mobile phones. Oticon RemoteCare aims to make it easier to get patients off to a good start with their hearing aids by facilitating easy and convenient follow-up care.  Patients with time or travel constraints that may make follow-up appointments in the hearing clinic more difficult can schedule face-to-face online sessions with their hearing care professional to address questions or concerns about adapting to their new hearing aids. The new e-health service is easy for hearing care professionals to integrate into day-to-day practice and will enable them to establish and maintain closer personal relationships to ensure patients get the comprehensive care they need.

“Oticon RemoteCare will put our hearing care partners at the front of the movement to e-health in hearing care,” explained Jørgensen. “Following hearing aid fittings in the office, Oticon RemoteCare makes it more convenient for patients to connect with their hearing care professional by moving follow-up meetings to face-to-face online sessions. Hearing care professionals save time to care for more patients and increase their patient base geographically by reducing the need for patients to travel for follow-up care.”

About Oticon

500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The majority are over the age of 50 while eight percent are under the age of 18. It is Oticon's ambition that our customers - hearing clinics throughout the world - prefer to use our products for people with impaired hearing. Through passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon develops and manufactures hearing aids for both adults and children. Oticon supports every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe and we pride ourselves on developing some of the most innovative hearing aids in the market. Headquartered out of Denmark, we are a global company and part of William Demant Holding Group with more than 12,000 employees and revenues of over DKK 12 billion. www.oticon.global

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[i]Oticon Whitepaper: Closing a gap to normal hearing – Juul Jensen 2018