New Smart Technology in Hearing Aids

Technology is getting smarter every day. In the last few years, smart artificial intelligence technology has also made its way into hearing aids, improving them in many ways that many may not even be aware of.

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New Smart Technology in Hearing Aids

Technology is getting smarter every day. But what exactly makes technology smart? As we make our devices more intelligent, the line between what's human and what's digital blurs. For a technology to be considered "smart," it must have at least one of the following traits:

Teamwork: This is where multiple technologies work together to accomplish a task or solve a problem. For example, you may have an Apple Watch that pings your iPhone if you leave your phone behind. Or maybe you have a Nest thermostat that adjusts its temperature based on your location and other factors. You're not just using one device, but two or more working together to achieve something worthwhile.

Autonomy: Autonomous technologies can make decisions without human intervention — they can make choices on their own. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) systems can learn new information and adapt their behavior accordingly based on those lessons learned. This allows them to make decisions without being programmed with specific rules every time new data comes in.

In the last few years, smart artificial intelligence technology has also made its way into hearing aids, improving them in many ways that we may not even be aware of. Let's look at some ways it is revolutionizing the hearing aid experience.

Better speech processing

Using computer algorithms, machine learning lets your hearing aids get better on their own as they get used. One example is Widex Moment, which uses AI to automatically change programs and settings based on how the user likes to listen. The Widex Moment for example has an app that lets you compare your best listening settings until it can figure out on its own what your best settings are.

Automatically adjusts to different environments.

AI and machine learning then assist you in adjusting to the various sound environments you encounter daily. Your hearing aids can locate you via geotagging and learn your preferred listening settings for your frequent locations. 

To handle the sound of an open window while driving, a loud office, or a calm night at home, your hearing aids use machine learning to adjust automatically. If you use hearing aids with AI technology, they can automatically adjust whether you're attending a concert or attending church. This lets you concentrate on what you want to do rather than worrying about changing the settings on your hearing aids.

Health tracking

Modern hearing aids have built-in sensors that track how active you are, how many steps you take, how often you talk to people, and how long you listen every day. One of the most incredible things about new hearing aids powered by AI is that they can track the health of your body and brain. This lets you and your doctor know as soon as a health problem arises. 

Experts have found that the ears are one of the best places to look for signals from the body. This is similar to devices that measure the same things on the wrist. Some hearing aids like the Starkey Evolv AI use accelerometers, gyroscopes, and other 3D motion sensors to track how you move throughout the day. Apps like the Starkey Thrive Hearing app work with your hearing aids to track your body and brain activity and score based on your physical and mental health goals.

Virtual assistants 

Virtual assistants are a type of voice-activated technology that can help you with your digital tasks. They work by using artificial intelligence (and machine learning) to recognize a person's voice and carry out a task that has been spoken out loud. Siri, Alexa and Google Home are the most popular virtual assistants.

Did you know that some hearing aids can connect to virtual assistants? With Bluetooth, hearing aids can connect to your phone and give you access to a virtual assistant. Manufacturers of hearing aids are just starting to add virtual assistant technology, which lets you do the following:

  • Set reminders: Do you forget to take your medication or clean your hearing aids often? You can set up your virtual assistant to get reminders on its own.
  • Set up routines: Do you always do the same things in the morning or evening? You can program one voice command to start an entire routine.
  • Control your hearing aid: You can program your routine to do things like turn up the volume on your phone ringer, read out daily calendar reminders, remind you to put your hearing aids on, and even read you the weather or the news.
  • Making lists: Virtual assistants can also help you with other things, like making a shopping list or taking down a quick note. 

Tracking your falls

The Evolv AI hearing aids can recognize a fall by the user. The hearing aid system's artificial intelligence can determine whether a user has fallen over or dropped their hearing aid on the floor. The accelerometer and gyroscope that make up the sensor allow it to determine whether you are standing still or falling. When someone trips and falls, the device counts down to 60 seconds before alerting a caregiver to a potential fall. 

Artificial intelligence, natural hearing

Don't let an old set of hearing aids hurt your hearing or how you talk to other people. If your hearing aids aren't helping you hear as well as they used to, now is a great time to look into all your options. Contact us today and get future-proof with the latest AI and smart hearing aids!

Marni Novick, Audiologist in Los Gatos, CA

Dr. Marni Novick

Founder & Audiologist

Marni Novick, AuD, is founder of Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc., which opened its doors in 2014, with the promise of delivering honest and affordable hearing health care, along with exceptional customer service to her valued patients.

About Dr. Novick

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