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The problem of hearing loss is very common nowadays. Though it can be cured with medical help or surgery, some of these treatment procedures may not be suitable for everyone. Advancements in technologies in the field of hearing aids and implants have refined the quality of hearing, thereby attracting more people to adopt them.
According to a report by Fortune Business Insights™, the global hearing aids market size is projected to reach USD 13.38 billion by 2027. The rising cases of hearing loss worldwide are set to be the major reason for the market growth. The World Health Organization (WHO), for instance, declared that by 2050, over 900 million people are estimated to live with disabling hearing loss. Similarly, as per the Hearing Industries Association, in 2017, in the U.S., approximately 3.77 million aids were dispensed.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Increasing Communication Issues during Curfew to Aid Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the living conditions of people suffering from hearing loss. A study published in 2020 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), for instance, mentioned that the implementation of ‘stay at home’ norms by government bodies across the globe compelled the entire household to spend more time with their families.
In Turkey, living in a crowded household is a very common tradition. This norm amid the pandemic resulted in communication problems for those having hearing loss but who have never consulted a doctor before for getting hearing aids. Therefore, as soon as the curfew was lifted in the country in June 2020, the number of clinical visits of people between the age group of 65 years and above grew exponentially. Almost every one of them requested for hearing aids. Hence, the pandemic has affected the industry positively.
Sonova Holding AG is a provider of a wide range of innovative hearing care solutions, such as wireless communication, cochlear implants, and hearing instruments. Some of its best-selling brands include AudioNova, Advanced Bionics, Phonak, Hansaton, and Unitron. As per a report published by the company in May 2020, its hearing instruments business earned 55% share in 2019-2020, while the cochlear implant systems business generated 8% revenues.
In February 2021, for instance, Sonova’s brand Phonak introduced the second generation of a tiny ear-level receiver called Roger Focus. It enables adults, teens, and children to hear the speaker’s voice via any microphone of the Roger range. It has shown positive results for children living with auditory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or unilateral hearing loss.
Founded in 1904, it is a prominent hearing health care company specializing in personal communication, audiometric equipment, and hearing aids segments. Its products are sold under various brands, such as Oticon Medical, Sennheiser Communications, Interacoustics, Neurelec, Bernafon, and Phonic Ear. In 2020, the company’s hearing implants business held 4% of the total revenue.
In January 2021, Demant’s in-house brand Oticon launched the first-ever hearing aid featuring deep neural networks (DNN) named Oticon More. It would help people with mild-to-severe hearing loss a balanced, fuller, and effortless hearing experience. It is capable of representing sounds more naturally and lowers listening efforts.
Formerly known as Sivantos Group, the Denmark-based company manufactures hearing aids. In 2015, when Siemens sold Siemens Audiology Solutions to Santo Holding GmbH and EQT, it was renamed WS Audiology. In 2018, it joined hands with Widex to announce a merger worth USD 8 billion, thereby developing the world’s third largest hearing conglomerate. In 2020, its hearing care and hearing implants business held 43% of the total revenues.
WS Audiology unveiled its latest earbud-style hearing aid named Instant-fit Signia Active Pro™ in January 2021. It would provide high-quality audio and a cool appearance from the outside. The company aims to encourage more people with hearing loss to adopt this unique hearing aid as most of them hesitate to do so.
Founded by Carl Frederik Tietgen in Carl Frederik Tietgen, the company is a reputed provider of headsets and hearing aids. Two of its major brands include GN Audio, Jabra, and GN Hearing. In 2020, the company declared that it is planning to enhance its audio and hearing product portfolios. Also, new market segments would enable it to leverage its commercial platform and technological expertise for gaining a competitive edge.
For instance, in February 2021, GN Hearing introduced a new range of essential hearing aids called ReSound Key. It provides natural and clear sound quality. It also features the company’s Organic Hearing philosophy and an advanced chip platform. As per one of the company officials, “Nowadays, many people neglect their health when they suffer from hearing losses. Our new products will help them to gain access to the best professional and hearing care.”
It is a medical device company that supplies, manufactures, and designs the Baha bone conduction implant, the Hybrid electro-acoustic implant, and the Nucleus cochlear implant. Since 1982, more than 250,000 people have received one of the company’s implants. In 2011, it was named one of the most innovative companies in the world by Forbes.
In January 2019, Cochlear Limited exhibited its implantable hearing devices at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It launched a new line of Cochlear™ Nucleus implants for people suffering from profound, severe, and moderate hearing loss. For those living with mixed or conductive hearing loss, as well as single-sided deafness, the company introduced state-of-the-art bone conduction hearing devices.
Would Artificial Intelligence Reform One’s Hearing Experience in Future?
In recent years, hearing aid technology has evolved rapidly. Unlike previous generations, today’s devices provide numerous unique features. They are becoming more automatic to improve one’s hearing ability. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most crucial technologies that are expected to surge the growth of this industry in the near future. Devices equipped with this technology would be able to automatically change program preferences and volume control settings for specific environments. In March 2021, for instance, Whisper introduced its latest AI-powered hearing aid called Whisper Hearing System that would constantly record user feedback to offer better service. Such novel product launches would help the industry to grow steadily in the upcoming years.