iHEAR Introduces Eva™, the First Hearing Aid Designed for Women with Hearing Loss

– Eva is an advanced programmable hearing solution for addressing the distinct hearing loss patterns of women.

– Eva is designed to fit into the modern lifestyle and aesthetic preferences of females.

– Patented online tools offer a gender-specific tuning process with male and female speech simulations.

– Available online from $299 each, Eva is the most affordable programmable hearing aid available, saving women with hearing loss thousands of dollars.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif.June 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — iHEAR Medical announces the launch of Eva™, the first hearing aid designed specifically to address hearing loss of women. Over 20 million women in the U.S., 150 million women globally, suffer from disabling hearing impairment of 40 decibels or more.

Eva will be available to order online on July 1, 2017. Orders will ship beginning July 15, 2017.

Gender gap in affordability widens

The skyrocketing cost of quality hearing aids has widened the gap in hearing health, with the affluent enjoying clinically effective hearing solutions while the majority, particularly retired women whose savings are considerably less than those of men, are left without a solution. Most women in the U.S. and elsewhere simply cannot afford programmable hearing aids available in traditional channels, which currently cost $5,000 or more for a pair. The consequences of untreated hearing loss can be devastating for both men and women, and include lower income, reduced access to healthcare and education, and higher incidence of depression and social isolation. Recent reports indicate hearing aid use for the hearing impaired can be a life changing experience.

Women live longer than men, but their earnings and life savings are generally lower. Studies have shown about a 50% difference in account balance between men and women, largely due to the difference in wages.  “Introducing Eva as a low-cost solution for women with hearing loss is consistent with iHEAR’s mission to remove barriers for the millions currently denied access to quality hearing care,” stated Adnan Shennib, Founder & CEO of iHear Medical.

iHEAR is pioneering cloud-based hearing solutions to deliver high quality hearing aids directly to consumers at a fraction of the cost of conventional programmable hearing aids, which cost $2,400 per device on average.  Eva and other programmable digital hearing aids offered by iHEAR retail online at $299 per device, bringing the cost of advanced hearing aids in line with prescription eyeglasses. Eva incorporates advanced features typically offered in hearing aids costing several thousands of dollars, including multi-memory sound profiles, digital noise suppression, and automatic feedback cancellation. The Eva hearing aid also includes a tele-coil for wireless audio reception available by most phones, and in public venues such as churches and theaters.

For more information on the Eva, visit: http://www.EvaByiHEAR.com/

Men and women have different hearing loss patterns

Even when the degree of hearing loss is comparable between men and women, there are characteristic differences in hearing loss patterns that require different treatment. Women tend to lose hearing first in the low frequencies, while men lose hearing mostly in the higher frequencies. Loosely translated, women have more trouble discriminating vowels, while men have more difficulty understanding consonants (“t”, “sh” and “s”) – with both genders experiencing difficulty hearing speech – especially in noisy conditions – as a result of differences in physiology and neural processing conditions. Treatment of hearing loss must be tailored for the needs of women by understanding these characteristic differences and customizing hearing aids accordingly.

Although most types of hearing loss can be successfully treated with the use of a hearing aid, women avoid their use more so than men for a variety of reasons, including comfort of wear, cost, vanity and the persistent negative word of mouth depicting hearing aids as noisy and ineffective. With men buying hearing aids at nearly twice the rate of women, the hearing aid industry primarily caters to men who typically have larger ears and are generally less concerned with aesthetics.

Eva is engineered for women’s hearing loss patterns

Eva’s sound processing is tailored to treat distinct hearing loss patterns experienced by women. Loud sounds above 85 dB are reduced for a comfortable listening experience in noisy settings, along with independent suppression of annoying ambient noises for a comfortable long term listening experience. Eva automatically enhances male and female speech, even in challenging listening situations such as noisy restaurants and social gatherings.

Eva addresses women’s unique anatomical and physiological characteristics

Women generally have smaller ears, making hearing aids designed for men feel bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Eva is highly miniaturized for inconspicuous wear behind a woman’s ear and is offered with smaller ear accessories to fit more comfortably and in closer proximity to the eardrum for an exceptional hearing experience. Eva’s low-profile design ensures a secure fit in the ear for maintaining an active lifestyle, including working, exercise and even swimming. Eva is offered in a slim, compact form factor with an assortment of color options, including beige, red, and grey.

Innovative gender-specific tuning

The Eva hearing aid is personalized at home by the consumer using patented online tools, which deliver male and female speech for the tuning process. Eva can also be shipped pre-customized if audiogram results are submitted with an order, or customized online using EarPiNG™, which connects consumers with licensed hearing professionals for remote programming.

About iHear Medical

iHEAR Medical is a venture-backed firm dedicated to addressing the global need for affordable and accessible hearing solutions. iHEAR’s products and business models break through persisting barriers preventing people with hearing loss from acquiring and using hearing aids, including high cost, complex dispensing procedures, and the stigma of traditional hearing aids worn visibly behind the ear.  iHEAR is pioneering cloud-based direct-to-consumer hearing solutions with 48 U.S. and international patents issued and pending in its intellectual property portfolio. For more information on iHEAR Medical, visit: https://www.ihearmedical.com/

Disparity in Hearing Healthcare is Widespread with the Majority Enduring the Devastating Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 will not fix a broken hearing care system without innovations and new delivery models.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif., June 5, 2017 — iHEAR Medical supports the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act of 2017, which was recently introduced in Congress to improve access and affordability of hearing aids. About 86% of Americans with hearing loss, over 30 million people, go untreated, making hearing impairment the most common form of disability. The consequences of untreated hearing loss include lower income, reduced access to healthcare and education, and higher incidence of depression and social isolation. Recent reports have highlighted how hearing aid use can be a life changing experience for many.

Provisions of the OTC Hearing Aid Act of 2017 are based on recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS).  “The OTC Hearing Aid Act is consistent with measures iHEAR has been calling for to lower the cost and remove barriers for millions currently denied access to quality hearing care. The bill also creates a new framework for technological innovation and new business models,” stated Adnan Shennib, Founder & CEO of iHEAR Medical.

iHEAR is pioneering cloud-based hearing solutions to deliver high quality hearing aids directly to consumers at a fraction of the cost of conventional programmable hearing aids, which cost $2,400 per device on average.  With programmable digital hearing aids offered at $299 per device, iHEAR brings the cost of advanced hearing aids in line with prescription eyeglasses.

For more information on iHEAR’s products visit: https://www.ihearmedical.com/

Changing Global Demographics and Socioeconomics

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 5% of the world’s population, or approximately 360 million people, suffer from a disabling level of hearing loss. While 95% of those with hearing loss can be readily treated with a hearing aid, less than 10% of them use one.  Hearing loss has become increasingly prevalent in the US, and is now the third most common health problem after heart disease and arthritis. With the average cost of hearing aids reaching $5,000 for a pair, only 14% of Americans with hearing loss currently own a hearing aid due to excessive cost and limited access to hearing care.

Disparity in Hearing Healthcare is Widespread

Hearing aids, including premium models, cost no more than $100 to manufacture. However, consumers are expected to pay a ten to twenty-fold markup for a programmable hearing aid.  To capture more of the profits, the leading manufacturers have taken control of hearing aid distribution, acquiring hearing aid centers, retail chains, and audiology networks. With increased ownership and control over the distribution, the industry maintains a high-price, low-volume business model in which the overwhelming majority of those in need are left without a hearing solution.

The skyrocketing cost of quality hearing aids has widened the disparity in hearing health, with the affluent enjoying the benefits of customized hearing aids, while the majority continue to suffer the devastating effects of disabling hearing impairment. The disparity in hearing care particularly hits rural areas and inner cities, where populations have less income and reduced access to qualified hearing care.

Fixing a Broken Hearing Health System Requires more than New Regulations

The OTC Hearing Aid Act intends to remove layers of regulatory barriers preventing consumers from accessing quality hearing health care. The OTC Hearing Aid Act confirms the FDA’s authority to supersede state laws that are confusing and in conflict with existing FDA regulations.  However, new regulations will not fix the broken hearing health system without innovations that empower consumers and deliver effective direct-to-consumer hearing solutions.  These innovations include accurate home hearing screening, self-fitting tools, and telemedicine to connect hearing professionals to consumers in communities with limited access to clinical settings.

New models for delivering hearing products and services are also needed to create a new value proposition based on low-price, high quality hearing care. iHEAR Medical intends to leverage its proprietary online platform to introduce innovative direct-to-consumer distribution models including through drug stores and retail chains.  The new OTC regulations in conjunction with innovative technology and alternative distribution models will disrupt the current ineffective paradigm of high-price, low-volume hearing care. This disruption is necessary to serve the millions currently deprived of affordable hearing solutions, as well as the rapidly approaching silver tsunami of baby boomers.

About iHEAR Medical

iHEAR Medical is a venture-backed firm dedicated to addressing the global need for affordable and accessible hearing solutions. iHEAR’s products and business models break through persisting barriers preventing people with hearing loss from acquiring and using hearing aids, including high cost, complex dispensing procedures, and the stigma of traditional hearing aids worn visibly behind the ear.  iHEAR is pioneering cloud-based direct-to-consumer hearing solutions with 48 U.S. and international patents issued and pending in its intellectual property portfolio.