Wearers of Oticon Opn Internet-connected hearing aids can now access the company’s HearingFitness, a first-of-its-kind tool that allow hearing aid users to take control of their hearing health. HearingFitness works like a fitness tracker and monitors and analyzes hearing aid use, listening environments, and other behaviors to determine the impact of hearing on the wearer’s overall health, and helps the user to optimize of their hearing aids by making recommendations.
Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition behind arthritis and heart disease, affecting people of all ages. In the US, approximately 48 million Americans, that’s 20% of the population, report some degree of hearing loss, According to the Hearing Loss Association of America. An increasing body of evidence links hearing loss with a higher risk of cognitive decline. In fact, from midlife, untreated hearing loss poses the biggest risk of developing dementia later in life.
HearingFitness works in conjunction with Oticon’s proprietary ON App to encourage hearing aid users to wear their devices properly and advises on ways to use hear better and stay healthy.
The built-in tool in HearingFitness allows users to set daily hearing goals, like how many hours to wear the hearing aid, and track progress. The tool also monitors the quality of listening environments and advises users to wear their hearing aids in loud environments by sending reminders.
“Hearing plays a huge role in people’s long-term health and well-being, particularly when it comes to cognitive health,” says Don Schum, PhD, Vice President of Audiology at Oticon. “Wearing hearing aids can help hearing loss sufferers stay engaged in conversation and in life, and better fight the cognitive decline that often comes with aging. HearingFitness gives people insight into their hearing health and hearing aid habits to help them make informed decisions regarding their hearing aid usage, particularly in challenging environments. It is truly the start of a new wave of data-driven, personalized hearing care.”
Oticon is one of the most innovative hearing device manufacturers with more than 110 years of experience putting the needs of people with hearing loss first. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Oticon was founded in 1904. The company claims to be the world’s second-largest manufacturer of hearing aids, and runs a management style it calls “Spaghetti Organization” Oticon’s “brain first” audiological focus recognizes that speech understanding and comprehension are cognitive processes that happen in the brain. Oticon’s innovative BrainHearing™ technology is helping to provide better hearing with less effort by giving the brain the clearest, purest sound signals to decode.