“Access to reliable, accurate hearing testing is the natural—and necessary—evolution of hearing care and hearing loss prevention in communities.”
At the end of 2022, the FDA established a new category of hearing aids to be made available over-the-counter (OTC) to individuals with perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
This approach is designed to increase the public’s access to hearing aids, and to improve hearing throughout communities. In the United States, nearly 40 million people over the age of 18 have some degree of hearing loss, or trouble hearing, and it’s estimated that almost 30 million Americans would benefit from using hearing aids.
The impact of hearing loss on individuals, families, and communities is well-documented: It is widely understood that untreated hearing loss can lead to increased risk of cognitive decline, depression, and an overall reduced quality of life. This is particularly true for older, more vulnerable patients.
The FDA guidance specifically contemplates how this initiative will make it possible for those with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss to obtain hearing aids “without the need for a medical exam, prescription, or fitting adjustment by an audiologist.” Thus, this initiative will have a direct impact on what hearing testing can—and should—look like in community settings.
How OTC Hearing Aids Can Unlock Further Opportunities for Community Healthcare Providers
With increased accessibility to hearing aids over-the-counter comes an unprecedented opportunity for community healthcare providers to offer more holistic care for hearing loss: access to reliable, accurate hearing testing is the natural—and necessary—evolution of hearing care and hearing loss prevention in communities.
Access to reliable, accurate hearing testing is the natural—and necessary—evolution of hearing care and hearing loss prevention in communities.
AUDIMETROID is the world’s first purpose-built, accurate hearing testing technology for community healthcare providers. It’s a scaleable, cost-effective solution specifically designed for fast and easy adoption that drives immediate, visible health and economic impact. When offered alongside OTC hearing aids as a complete hearing care package, AUDMETROID can help community healthcare providers provide better care to patients.
With AUDIMETROID, the provision of more patient-centric decision making and care for hearing loss is possible. AUDIMETROID can easily, accurately distinguish between normal hearing, mild to moderate hearing loss suitable for OTC hearing aids, and more severe hearing loss for onward referral to an audiologist.
AUDIMETROID can easily, accurately distinguish between normal hearing, mild-to-moderate hearing loss suitable for OTC hearing aids, and more severe hearing loss for onward referral to an audiologist.
AUDIMETROID: Transforming Hearing Care with On-the-Spot Hearing Testing
Critically, AUDIMETROID makes on-the-spot hearing testing a real possibility for community healthcare providers. An astonishing 80% of people with hearing loss fail to seek care: getting people to actually have their hearing tested—and then seek appropriate treatment—is one of the most significant barriers to increased uptake of hearing care.
Historically, hearing tests have been performed in a hospital by a trained audiologist. Moreover, in order to see an audiologist for a hearing test, it’s often the case that a patient must obtain a referral, which often results in delays between when the patient initially seeks care and a hearing test being administered.
But AUDIMETROID offers clinical-level accuracy without the need for a referral, a trip to the hospital, or a trained audiologist. Any community healthcare provider can be trained to safely administer a hearing test with AUDIMETROID in any number of environments. All that’s required to complete the test is a safe, quiet room, and a few items of lightweight, wireless kit. Plus, results are generated immediately, so healthcare providers can offer appropriate care and solutions in real-time, with no delay between insight and action.
OTC hearing aids aren’t just an opportunity for members of the community to more easily access hearing care, without more. They’re an opportunity for healthcare providers to expand their offering with regards to hearing care, including the provision of reliable, accurate hearing testing. With AUDIMETROID, the traditional barriers to hearing testing are overcome, and healthcare providers are easily able to offer better, faster, more comprehensive care to their communities.
To learn more about how AUDIMETROID can help your community get even more from over-the-counter access to hearing aids, just reach out to a member of our team.