Critical hearing experiences manifest differently across individuals: insights from hearing aid data captured in real-life moments

Hearing loss is a completely personal experience and there is always an individual at the centre of any hearing loss journey.

Hearing aid manufacturers strive to build hearing aid solutions that can act automatically to enable hearing aid users to live their lives , but it has become very apparent to Widex that even the most sophisticated automatic hearing aid system will eventually fall short in delivering the completely personal experience at an individual level. Why? We are all unique and there will be times when what you want to hear is different to what the person next to you wants to hear. Yet an automatic hearing aid is not always able to give both the best experience without an extra degree of individualization. While Widex is introducing our My Sound portfolio of AI-powered intuitive tools to enable real-life personalization, we continue to investigate the area of individual listening experiences to help us get even smarter. 

Recently, we investigated the potential of using hearing aid data from critical listening experiences for personalization of hearing care. We asked hearing aid users to report both good and difficult listening experiences while hearing aid data from these moments were logged. We observed that we could obtain actionable insights from individual hearing aid data that did not entirely match the group data. In other words, averaged hearing aid activity for listening scenarios rated difficult or good for most listeners often did not reflect hearing aid activity for listening scenarios rated difficult or good by an individual. The results from this study show that hearing aid activity from user defined moments of critical listening experiences have the potential to be used for optimization of hearing care, as well as, stress the importance of considering each person as an individual when treating their hearing loss. It  also highlights the need for personalization either in real life via My Sound or in a clinical setting, moving away from ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions.

Looking into the future, these insights will fuel Widex knowledge and innovation to further personalize HAs by adjusting the overall gain, compression ratios, activity of noise reduction algorithms, or even adding special programs to address the user’s listening intent. 

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