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doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000386593.06377.20
Manufacturers News

Each month, Manufacturers News brings readers the latest information on new products and programs, plus other news from the companies that supply products and services to hearing healthcare professionals. Please submit information to David Kirkwood, Editor, The Hearing Journal, 108 E 96th St., Suite 16C, New York, NY 10128, fax 212/784-1149; e-mail

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Unitron system combines hearing and alerting

KITCHENER, ON—Unitron ( has introduced Smart Alert™ System, a fully integrated household hearing and alerting system that communicates directly with hearing instruments. It was developed in partnership with Bellman & Symfon. By integrating hearing and alerting technologies, Smart Alert provides hearing professionals with a turnkey solution and an opportunity to expand the care they provide to clients.

The system wirelessly connects household detectors with the Smart Alert remote, the same remote used for hearing instrument functionality. When a doorbell, telephone, or smoke detector sounds, the system provides an alert through event-specific icons on the remote, the remote vibrates, and beep signals are sent directly to the hearing instruments. At night, when hearing aids are not in use, the Smart Alert remote is placed in its nightstand charger, which connects to a bed shaker, so alerts are maintained around the clock.

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The system is designed with ease and reliability in mind. The hearing healthcare professional conducts a simple, in-clinic pairing of the hearing aids and the Smart Alert remote in the office, while at home users install the detectors with a simple peel-and-stick procedure, followed by an easy activation.

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Unitron has also released Tandem™, an advance in the CROS/BiCROS category, where Unitron has long been a market leader. Tandem offers an all-in-one wireless system with a choice of two technology levels, improved sound quality, and a wide array of features to address the limitations associated with having one ear with no usable hearing.

People without usable hearing in one ear face distinct challenges, including being unaware when their name is called, difficulty following conversations, and missing warning signals. Tandem picks up sounds originating from the poor ear side and transfers them to the better ear to hear. If the better ear also has some hearing loss, Tandem can help individuals hear more of what is happening on that side as well.

The system has five microphone strategies to improve satisfaction in specific situations, plus proven features, such as antiShock™, noise reduction, speech enhancement LD, and feedback management, to make listening as comfortable and natural as possible.

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Zon selected for National Design exhibit

NEW YORK—The Starkey Zon, a hearing aid designed by Stuart Karten Design for Starkey Laboratories (, has been selected for the National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? exhibit on view at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York.

The exhibit, which examines why design thinking is an essential tool for solving urgent problems, features SKD's Zon as a case study that highlights how creative problem solving can improve the quality of healthcare.

“When we started the project, we were shocked to discover that most people with hearing loss live in denial for 5 to 9 years before seeking treatment because they associate hearing aids with weakness and old age,” said Stuart Karten, SKD's principal. “We designed Zon to eliminate this harmful stigma and provide hearing-impaired people with a discreet hearing aid that speaks to personal enhancement, style, and sophistication.”

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Just Bekuz has a new owner

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PIERCE, CO—Elli Rathbun, who has managed businesses for 20 years, has moved into the hearing industry with her purchase of Just Bekuz Products, designer of the Mr. BTE doll and Super Seals moisture protection covers for hearing aids. The company was previously owned by Michael and Julie Butler, who founded it in 1991.

Just Bekuz's new address is 41710 CR 29, Pierce, CO 80650 and it can be reached by phone at 970/834-2523 or 800/795-5153, by fax at 970/834-0180, or by e-mail at

The company plans to release new sizes of Super Seals in the coming months to fit newer shapes of hearing aid cases.

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Avada introduces care protocols

LOUISVILLE—Avada Audiology and Hearing Care Centers ( introduced A Lifetime of Hearing Care patient care protocols in a national webinar presented by Avada's CEO, Steve W. Barlow.

Avada's management created these protocols to ensure that uniform standards are followed nationwide so every member of the organization is equipped to provide patients with a top-notch level of service.

The protocols set standards encompassing the services and care that Avada clinicians are expected to provide patients from their first appointment through ongoing checkups.

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On noise and hearing loss

SEDONA, AZ—Auricle Ink Publishers has released The Consumer Handbook on Hearing Loss and Noise, edited by Marshall Chasin, AuD. “This book was prompted by the need for education,” said Richard Carmen, AuD, the publisher. “Noise is the number one most preventable cause of hearing loss worldwide.”

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HearUSA program expands

WEST PALM BEACH, FL—HearUSA, Inc., has begun the national roll out of its AARP Hearing Care program following its successful introduction in nine states.

Available exclusively to AARP members, the program gives them access to a nationwide network of credentialed healthcare providers who can help them manage hearing loss through rehabilitation and ongoing consultation. Additionally, the program offers discounts on advanced hearing aid technology, extended warranties, and battery supplies.

The program was introduced to HearUSA centers in nine states and will be expanded into 24 more states this year. In 2011, HearUSA expects it to be available to AARP members in all 50 states. For information, go to

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ReSound offers moisture protection

MINNEAPOLIS—ReSound ( has released iSolate™ nanotech, designed to keep hearing aids dry and working. Humidity, moisture, and sweat wreak havoc on hearing aids that aren't protected from them. But, says ReSound, iSolate nanotech provides that protection by introducing nano-scale polymer coating technology to the hearing industry.

iSolate nanotech works by coating all elements of the instrument with a thin protective layer that bonds at a molecular level with the internal and external components, shielding them without affecting their performance. Whenever moisture comes in contact with any element of the hearing aid, including internal electrical components, it simply beads up and rolls off without being absorbed.

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ReSound uses a process to ensure complete protection of hearing aids. They are placed in an airtight chamber in which a vacuum is created before the nano-coating is applied. This causes both internal and external parts to be thoroughly coated and sealed.

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