We pride ourselves on our vast research and development that goes into creating best-in-class hearing aids our patients have come to expect. So, what does it take to create our hearing aids? Did you realize we have engineers researching and testing software and hardware on a daily basis? Let’s get to know two people who have first hand knowledge of Beltone hearing aids.
Tammara Stender, Au.D. has been with Beltone for 15 years. She is the Director of Global Audiology. We are also featuring Kevin Mikes. Kevin has been with Beltone for 17 years and is the Director of Product Development.
What is your role in the product development process?
TS: We conduct trials to test our products before they are launched to the market. We also communicate about how our technology works, and how it can provide benefit to the patient.
KM: I lead a team that develops and implements into production the hardware for our hearing aids. Basically, my team develops the physical hardware that the software runs on.
What do you think the hearing aids of the future will be like? How do you think the technology will change over the next 10-20 years?
TS: I think we are in for a lot of great technological developments that will continue to improve the patient experience and patient benefit from our devices!
KM: I like to think of our hearing aids as consisting of two main items: hardware and software. From a hardware perspective, I believe our hearing aids will become even more invisible (smaller).
From a software perspective, I imagine further advancements in algorithms that improve hearing in noisy environments. That is the most difficult listening situation, and I believe there will be further breakthroughs in our hearing aids that will improve the ability to listen in a noisy environment.
What would you like those who need hearing aids to know about hearing aids that would be of benefit to them?
TS: Hearing aids are designed to make it more enjoyable to hear the sounds of your life. Research shows that the more you use them, the more benefit you receive.
KM: Quality of life is THE single most important reason for recommending a hearing aid. What most people don’t realize because hearing loss is gradual, it’s the slow disengagement from social settings. Instead of being an active participant in discussions with friends and family, one slowly disengages from those opportunities. This can lead to even more serious issues than simply being “left out”. If one feels totally disengaged from society, this can lead to depression. Also, cognitive functioning can decline if one is not actively taking part in a rich social environment.