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Manufacturers News

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000547409.74831.28
Manufacturers News
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Manufacturers News covers the latest products, programs, and news from hearing health care companies. News releases and photographs are welcome. Please submit information to HJ@wolterskluwer.com.

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iHEAR LAUNCHES FDA-CLEARED HOME KIT

iHEAR Medical has introduced the first FDA-cleared home hearing assessment kit, the iHEARtest, that consumers can use to screen and monitor their own hearing health. The iHEARtest is a six-minute assessment that scores your Hearing Number in each ear on a scale from 1 to 5 (profound hearing loss to good hearing) based on World Health Organization Guidelines. While the test is underway, the iHEARtest actively monitors room noise to ensure accuracy and is paused when noise level interferes. It comes with calibrated earphones that performs automatic calibration checks to ensure continuous accuracy. It also includes a proprietary USB device that connects to a personal computer and the earphones. Using secure online access to a HIPAA-compliant server, the user can review his results at any time. The iHEARtest includes five credits for up to five users or one user for multiple annual screenings, and additional single credits are available for purchase. This home hearing assessment kit is available over-the-counter at $69 on select online retailers, including CVS.com, FSAStore.com, and Walmart.com, as well as independently owned pharmacies and national drugstore chains.

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SONOVA LAUNCHES SHARE BUYBACK PROGRAM

Sonova has announced a share buyback program worth up to CHF 1.5 billion funded by free cash flow and additional debt to increase cash distribution to shareholders. The program runs up to 36 months and is expected to start in October. The buyback, targeting a net debt/EBITDA ratio of up to 1.0x by 2020/21, will be conducted via a separate trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange, and the shares will be repurchased for the purpose of a capital reduction, subject to approval by future annual general shareholders’ meetings and regulatory approval. Sonova expects to have sufficient funds to further invest in R&D and capital expenditure, to expand the Group's distribution network and market reach, and to undertake acquisitions, in addition to the new share buyback program. In case of an acquisition opportunity, the program could be suspended. The regular update on the share buyback program and the buyback notices will be accessible on the company's website.

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ADVANCED BIONICS’ MRI CI TECHNOLOGY GETS FDA APPROVAL

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The HiRes Ultra 3D Cochlear Implant by Advanced Bionics has received FDA approval. Its magnet, composed of four rotatable magnet rods encased in a revolving disc, provides alignment to the 3D MRI field, allowing adult and pediatric cochlear implant recipients to safely undergo high-resolution imaging without any preparation, surgery, or head bandaging. The torque generated in the magnet is so low that it translates to pressure values below the pain or discomfort thresholds for both adults and children. When getting an MRI, all the user has to do is take off the processor and headpiece beforehand and put them back on when the scan is done.

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NEW GN HEARING AID OFFERS IMPROVED CONNECTIVITY AND PERSONALIZATION

GN Hearing has released its new Interton Ready hearing aid featuring 2.4 GHz connectivity, proven GN sound technology, and more affordable pricing. With Interton Ready's new Made for Apple feature, users can seamlessly stream calls and music directly from Apple devices to their hearing aids. The new Interton Sound app for Apple and Android devices allows people to control and personalize their sound experience. Helen Ljungdahl Round, the senior vice president of global marketing at GN Hearing, said they hope to show people that tackling hearing loss doesn't have to be a big deal with Interton Ready. “They can benefit from our renowned, tested, and proven technology, in a great value hearing aid that will improve their ability to hear, stay active, feel confident and ultimately live their best lives,” she said.

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