Eargo Takes Home IDEA 2018 Awards
Eargo (https://eargo.com/) has received the Gold award for its Eargo Max hearing aid in the medical and health category, the Jury Chair's Award, and the Plastics Innovation Award at this year's International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Cory Herbst, a principal industrial designer at Stryker Corp and an IDEA 2018 judge, said in a press release that Eargo's “design truly improves the human condition, making it worthy of IDSA's highest honor.” This year's jury of global design experts chose winners from a field of nearly 1,900 entries across 20 categories, selecting 145 winners, 32 of which are Gold winners. Eargo Max, designed for mild to moderate hearing loss, was developed in partnership with Ammunition Group, which was behind the Beats by Dre headphones and Square, and was introduced in January of this year.
Unitron's Max Now Offers Easier Fitting, BETTER CUSTOMIZATION
Unitron (http://unitron.com) has updated its Max hearing aid with new Super Power presets personalized to individual listening preferences, making it easier to fit those with severe to profound hearing loss. Each of the three presets—classic, conventional, and current—provides a different combination of sound processing, directionality, and gain. Instead of starting with a standard first fit, audiologists can choose a preset that's closest to the patient's preference to begin the fitting with and fine-tune it according to the patient's needs. Andre de Goeij, the senior director of product management and strategic initiatives for Unitron, said those with severe to profound hearing loss face a specific set of challenges, and that's why it's important to have these presets that address the diverse needs of this population. “We've leveraged the powerful Tempus platform for Max and optimized it with technologies that quickly and automatically understand listening environments and make seamless adjustments,” de Goeij said. “These features have been perfected for Super Power, refining speech perception and environmental awareness.”
SignAll Launches First-of-its-kind ASL Translation Technology
SignAll (http://www.signall.us/) has made its automated American Sign Language-English translation technology enabling instant communication between deaf and hearing individuals available to businesses and organizations. The ASL user wears a colorful glove and signs to the camera, and the colors on the gloves helps the technology differentiate the fingers. Four cameras pick up the signer's other visual cues, and the NLP software translates ASL into English text, which is then displayed on a chat-like interface. The hearing person uses his or her voice, and the speech is picked up by automatic speech recognition. A speech-recognition feature then processes spoken English into text. The system should be installed in a fixed position either on a desk or tabletop or in a stand-alone booth. The SignAll technology was developed by a team of Deaf and hearing researchers, mathematicians, developers, and linguists from the United States and Hungary. The company also collaborated with Gallaudet University to fine-tune the program. SignAll hopes to expand to public and private organizations, such as government offices, schools and universities, and companies, as well as develop a mobile application and make it available for systems like Siri or Alexa.
Decibel Therapeutics Partners with Medidata to Advance Hearing Loss Research
Decibel Therapeutics (https://decibeltx.com/) is adopting Medidata Cloud, a clinical research data management platform, to support its clinical development for hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. As Decibel Therapeutics prepares to ramp up its clinical research activities focusing on inner ear disorders, it has partnered with Medidata to support early-stage research in the areas of observational, natural history explorations, facilitate timely data capture and analysis of study outcomes, seamlessly scale and unify all data by adopting one e-clinical platform across studies. Decibel will incorporate Medidata programs, including Edge eTMF and Rave ePRO/eCOA, as it progresses with its hearing and balance-related research programs.
InnerScope Becomes a Hearing Aid Manufacturer
InnerScope Hearing Technologies (http://www.innd.com/) has signed a 10-year manufacturing, design, and marketing agreement with Zounds Hearing to produce and distribute hearing aids at different price points. For example, for its direct-to-consumer division, InnerScope will be developing an affordable line of self-fitting hearing aids, which allow the consumer to fit, program, and adjust the hearing aids through their smartphone in less than three minutes. Under the agreement, Zounds, an FDA-registered manufacturer of hearing aids, will be a subcontractor of InnerScope, and will provide all of InnerScope's design, technology, manufacturing, and supply chain services. The agreement allows InnerScope to leverage Zounds’ investment in engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain capabilities. InnerScope also has the right to access Zounds’ research and development and technology breakthroughs in advanced audio technology contained within its 52 exclusive patents. InnerScope and Zounds will also execute a joint marketing agreement to assist each other with marketing in other distribution channels and leverage each company's relationships across both companies’ brands.