Hearing Aids Will Be Embraced By Younger Generations
Possibly out of necessity, and possibly due to lowering stigma about hearing aids, I think more and more younger people will be willing to wear hearing aids. Since hearing aids are no longer obvious to wear or clunky to use, it will become a non-issue for younger people. Some hearing aids could even come to be seen as cool - fashion accessories that could be blinged out, with graceful designs and trendy colors, that have cool tech to back them up.
|Image from Flickr user BitBoy|
Image of a neon sign displaying the words "Hearing Aids"
(Hearing Health Will Be, Too!)
At the same time that hearing aids are becoming more popular, I think hearing health messages will be easier to get across. Initiatives like Phonak's Hear the World, using celebrities, and Marlee Matlin's recent work with Starkey for Celebrity Apprentice, will make the public more aware of hearing loss and health.
Hearing Aids Will Be Even More Integrated with Daily Tech
While many hearing aids today have Bluetooth technology, it often requires the purchase of a secondary device, and has to be paired by an audiologist. I think that hearing aid technology will increase to the point that they will one day be able to interface directly with the other device.
Hearing Aids May Become Daily Tech
Not only may they soon be able to integrate directly with devices, hearing aids may soon actually become those devices. Imagine going to an audiologist, buying a pair of hearing aids and then stopping off at a cellphone provider to add a voice plan. Add a simple keyboard and screen device for texting or video calls and you have a fully integrated system.
Cellphone Apps Will Become More Advanced
There are already apps out there to test your hearing, add captions to what you're watching and other cool options. I can easily see a company releasing an app as a "remote control" for their hearing aids. There are a lot of cool apps still to be developed, but I think the neatest ones work with augmented reality tools to enhance daily life, which for users of hearing aids, would be really easy to do.
Hearing Aids Will Be Covered Under More Insurance Plans
At least for children, I think we will soon see more coverage for hearing aids under insurance plans. Massachusetts currently has a bill in the works for hearing aid coverage and I predict more states to follow.
What do you think? What's coming up in hearing aid tech?