As the hearing loss epidemic continues to rise, hearing-implant companies are trying to make sense of it.
The hearing-impairment-treatment company Hear ‘EM Hear ‘E is offering hearing-enhancing hearing implants to people who have lost the ability to hear.
The company’s CEO, David G. Lee, said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that his company is taking on a challenge to the industry that the hearing industry has largely abandoned: helping people with hearing loss access their hearing implants.
“It’s very challenging to make the technology available to the general public,” Lee said.
“I think we’re going to make an impact on that, to help people with their hearing.”
The Hearing-Implant Industry The hearing implant industry, which is worth $2.5 billion in 2015, has largely shunned new technology.
The industry has relied on a handful of companies for implants, including Thermo Fisher Scientific, which was acquired in 2014 by Boston-based NuTec.
That company’s implants are not FDA-approved, so patients must wait years before hearing the benefits.
For people with normal hearing, hearing aids are the standard of care.
Hearing implants, on the other hand, can help patients with chronic hearing loss.
Many hearing-loss patients need more than hearing aids.
Some people with low-frequency hearing, for example, cannot hear sounds below 100 decibels.
And some patients with low hearing loss cannot hear well above the level of noise from a normal radio or TV.
Hearing-impaired people are also more likely to need specialized hearing aids, such as the device for patients with hearing damage called a cochlear implant.
“The technology for the implant itself is pretty limited in what it can do,” said Dr. Joseph M. Schulze, the director of clinical research for the Hearing and Hearing Sciences Institute at Boston University School of Medicine.
“But the implant technology has evolved to a point where the implant is now used for a range of different kinds of patients.”
Schulzi added that he is surprised that hearing-limiting hearing aids have been around for so long.
The Hearing Association, a trade group representing hearing-laboratory workers, estimates that there are approximately 150 million hearing-lovers in the United States.
For some hearing-accelerators, hearing loss can cause problems with hearing or the ability of the hearing organs to communicate with the brain.
For example, people with cochlea damage that causes loss of the inner layer of the ear may be unable to hear sounds above about 40 decibells.
Hearing implant technology is still not perfect, Schulz said.
Hearing aids can be hard to fit into the ear canal, so some people have to wear hearing aids to help hear the speech they are hearing.
Hearing devices that can be worn by the head and ear can also be difficult to put on and take off.
But the implant market is growing fast, with more than 60 hearing-affairs companies and more than 40,000 implants in use today, according to the hearing-technology industry trade group, the Hearing Association.
The market for hearing implants is worth more than $2 billion.
In the past decade, the industry has grown rapidly in terms of the number of implants it offers to consumers, and it is growing at an even faster pace, according with the American Hearing Association (AHA).
Hearing-enhanced implants are also becoming more popular in other industries.
For instance, hearing technology is increasingly being incorporated into healthcare.
In fact, hearing equipment makers are currently working on implant technologies that would replace the implants worn by some patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and other settings.
According to the AHA, the implant industry employs about 500,000 people in the U.S. The Association estimates that the implant implant market will reach $8.5 trillion by 2020.