There have been many large leaps forward in the technology that is governing hearing aids over the last two decades. New implant models as well as digital hearing aids have led to people with hearing loss being able to live much richer and fuller lives. One of the greatest impacts on hearing aids throughout the world has been cell phone technology. Even though it has become much more pronounced in the last few years, it is still incredibly important to realize how cell phones have brought advancement and change to hearing aid capabilities around the world.
Cell Phones- The Beginning
The earliest ways that hearing aid devices have been affected by cell phone technology can be seen as far back as the early 2000s, when cell phones began to make cheaper and smaller phones possible. These early cell phones of the modern era also took into account the need to help call clarity for all of their users, so phone developers integrated a mobile telecoil. This small piece of equipment could simultaneously boost the signal of the phone while also filtering out harmful noises that occurred when people wearing hearing aids used the phone. This allowed for greater call clarity and also showed that technology could overcome certain complications of using hearing aids.
Smartphones: The Evolution
Smartphones took the ideas that were put forth by the cell phones of the early 2000s and built upon their ideas to make a superior device. Using anti-frequency devices and telecoils that were more powerful, smartphones were able to use their new hardware to affect positive hearing outcomes for those who wear hearing aids. Another way that smartphones have been able to help the hearing aid market is through creating the HAC, or hearing aid capacity, chart which can be found on most smartphone packages. This tells the buyer if the phone that they are considering is compatible with their hearing device, and if so, to what degree.
This is an important factor when considering purchasing the phone because it can tell the user the strength of the telecoil and if there is a direct app link between their device and their phone. Hearing aids have been programmed into the applications of select phones, giving the user complete control over their device from a remote location. In short, a person with a hearing aid is able to adjust their device in terms of its volume, turning it on and off, and can even find it for you if you manage to lose it after taking a shower or nap. For all of these reasons and more, the integration of cell phone technology in to the realm of hearing is important and transformative for hearing aid industries.