The hearing aid entrepreneurs whom audiologists hate
Published 20 March 2015 15:21, Updated 24 March 2015 11:25
“Disrupting a cosy, overpriced industry”: customer-fitted hearing aid pioneers Dr Elaine Saunders and Professor Peter Blamey
A hearing aid package which eliminates the need to visit a specialist has not endeared the entrepreneurs behind it to their audiologist peers.
But Dr Elaine Saunders and Professor Peter Blamey say positive feedback from clients who previously could not afford to address their hearing problems makes up for the criticism.
Both respected scientists in their own right, Saunders and Blamey are the Melbourne team behind IHearYou: a system which allows ordinary people to test their own hearing, buy hearing aids online and adjust them to get them working in the best possible way, all without visiting a specialist.
“In Australia, more than four million people have hearing loss and most don’t do anything about it because of prohibitive costs, distance from services and perceived stigma. Unfortunately, untreated hearing loss often leads to physical, cognitive and mental health complications,” says Saunders, herself a trained audiologist.
“IHearYou removes these cost and distance barriers. We’re disrupting a cosy, overpriced industry. And we are working hard to address the social stigma.”
Available online and in their Melbourne Blamey Saunders Hears shopfront, the IHearYou-supported hearing aids make use of bionic ear technology, which their inventors claim is not always utilised in other options within the same price bracket - about $2250 a pair for the basic model, and $3675 for the more advanced.
Ok they have better Public Relations than we do, but did you know that you can get the ExSilent Xylo 4, Xylo 6 the QLeaf Pro and YTango with the programming kit- yes.