BeHear NOW: new ALD worth a look and listen

BeHear NOW is a neck loop style headset designed to rest on the back of your neck (or under your collar). It utilizes voice processing technologies, offering adults with normal hearing, as well as those with mild (and perhaps moderate) hearing loss, the functionality of three devices, operating as a(n):

  1. Bluetooth stereo headset
  2. assistive listening device
  3. OTC alternative for adults looking for options

Bluetooth stereo headset

BeHear NOW can be used for wireless mobile phone calls and music/audio streaming. It supports two simultaneous Bluetooth connections, remembering and automatically connecting with the last two connected devices. The device is also equipped with the EasyListen function, a feature that slows down incoming live speech during mobile phone calls.

Assistive Listening Device (Personal listener and TV listening)

BeHear NOW may be used as a personal listening device. Out-of-the-box, the BeHear NOW is optimized for individuals with normal hearing, however, it has a built-in Hearing Assessment feature that allows users to adjust amplification across frequencies via a self-administered hearing assessment using the mobile app. When the assessment is completed, the headset can now operate as a personal sound amplifier. The headset itself includes a variety of controls to manage device settings, offering four “out-of-the-box” profiles including indoor, outdoor, crowd and live music. In addition, the profiles may be managed in real-time based on the environment and user’s preferences using the W&H BeHear mobile app.

When used with the HearLink bluetooth transmitter (companion product sold separately), TV audio wirelessly transmits to the BeHear NOW headset. As previously mentioned, since this product can manage two Bluetooth connections simultaneously, a user connected to their mobile phone and their TV can receive calls and listen to audio from both the mobile phone and the TV without having to disconnect and reconnect.

OTC Alternative

The customization offered by BeHear NOW may be appealing to adults pursuing an alternative to traditional OTC devices. The established retail price of $249 is very reasonable given the functionality offered by the device.

For more information, check out the 13th episode of Oaktree TV (Season 2) discussing the BeHear Now contact customer service at Oaktree Products toll free 800.347.1960 or via email at otp@oaktreeproducts.com.

Posted in Audiology, Hearing Assistance Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

$60 Back in your Pocket with New Audiologist’s Choice Super Dry Spot

Audiologist’s Choice brand is excited to introduce the new Super Dry Spot dehumidifier for your hearing aid patients with an introductory offer of buy 12 and get 6 free! That’s 18 dehumidifiers for the price of 12, putting about $60 back in your clinical pocket. With hotter temperatures around the corner, what a perfect opportunity to stock up your dehumidifier supply. The glass jar with screw off lid contains a foam cover with loose desiccant beads underneath. A small quantity of orange indicator beads makes it easy for patients to know when to reactive; when the orange beads turn green, it’s time to reactivate via microwave or conventional oven. Easy to read instructions are conveniently printed on the jar as well as the package. During the rest of April, mention or use item# SPEC-00307 to put $60 in your pocket! Contact customer service at Oaktree Products toll-free 800.347.1960 or via otp@oaktreeproducts.com. Every hearing aid user should use a dehumidifier and this is a great addition to your clinical supply offering!

Posted in Audiology, Hearing Aid Dehumidifiers & Moisture Protection | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tympanic Membrane Selfie

A very popular and affordable video otoscope from Firefly Global is now compatible with smart phones and tablets. It’s the new Firefly DE570 and here is what you need to know:

  • compatible with iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3 or newer
  • soon-to-be compatible with Android 6.0 or newer (May 2019)
  • does NOT require special smart phone case to function, making the technology compatible with all new phone models
  • free mobile app records and stores ear canal and tympanic membrane images; simply download FireflyPro mobile app and launch
  • images and videos can be downloaded and uploaded into NOAH or any other electronic medical records (EMR) as they are standard file types (JPG/MP4)
  • built-in WIFI within the otoscope eliminates need for wireless transmitter and enabling the device to function anywhere, offering unlimited portability and access
  • perfect tool for telemedicine, health fares, and satellite offices

I played around with the DE570 for the first time yesterday. Love it. To be completely transparent, my top video otoscopes include the wired and wireless Firefly. If you are not a huge fan of those, not sure you will be sold on this new version although it’s important to recognize the application of the DE570 is different than the wired or wireless Firefly. Unlike the original Firefly video otoscopes, the DE570 is not designed to connect with the camera technology of a laptop. Plugging it into a laptop will only charge the camera; to capture images, the DE570 must operate from the mobile app.

Compared to the CellScope, I prefer the Firefly DE570. First, the image resolution is better. Second, the Firefly video otoscope is independent of the mobile phone whereas the CellScope was designed to convert the mobile device into a video otoscope via a special mobile phone case for direct speculum attachment. The mobile-phone form factor makes the act of performing otoscopy awkward. The primary reason I prefer the Firefly is because it does not require a custom case to operate. This is a HUGE deal because the Firefly DE570 will be compatible with all new phone models moving forward whereas the CellScope is not. CellScope technology is limited by whatever compatible smart phone case is available. CellScope case has not been updated since the iPhone 6s and, therefore, does not currently support technology beyond the iPhone 6s (or with tablets). While the Firefly DE570 costs more (less than $500) than the CellScope ($300), the features and benefits outweigh any cost savings.

When I initially launched the FireflyPro Mobile app, a message appeared on my iPhone indicating “Firefly Device Not Detected”. Honestly, I am not one to read directions so was momentarily confused and decided to close the app to reconnect (which the Quick Tips section of packaging insert clearly states). That took care of the error message. From my experience, the Firefly DE570 is easy to use while offering the benefit of portability and access without requiring a laptop computer. I have not used my iPad in quite some time; I don’t even know where it is but the Firefly DE570 has inspired me to find it. This video otoscope is one of my favorite new things! For more information and your pricing, contact Oaktree Products 800.347.1960 and ask for customer service. If you prefer, email Oaktree Products at otp@oaktreeproducts.com.

Posted in Audiology, Otoscopes, Headlamps & Earlights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

President-elect Catherine Palmer’s General Assembly Speech #AAAConf19

We do not do hearing and balance tests.

We do not sell devices.

We…

Change the course of cognitive decline for patients

Reduce the risk of patients falling

Start a chain of events for a child that will promote reading, education, and employment

Prevent social isolation

In fact, we ensure social participation which increases life expectancy.

We,

Decrease depression

Decrease medical adverse events

Decrease hospitalization and readmissions

And we can save the health care system over 3.3 billion dollars per year

You may do this directly or you may be the educator of the next generation of audiologists. You may be the researcher who develops better ways to impact health and education.  Whatever your role, it is critical to the patients we serve and the profession who serves them.

We often talk about how important it is that others recognize what we do and it is.  It is just as important that we recognize what we do and use language that reflects our place in the health care value chain.

There has never been a better time to be an audiologist.  We are experts in communication which is essential to the human condition.  We are experts in balance which is critical to basic human survival.  

It’s not about hearing, it’s about communication, brain health, and healthy aging. The ear is the doorway to the brain.

It’s not about dizziness or balance, it’s about wellness, navigating your environment, and aging in place.

We do not do hearing and balance tests.  We do not sell devices.

Why do we need to embrace this language? Why do we need to pay attention to our words?

Because the future is going to look different and we need to position ourselves to play an essential role in wellness and improved health outcomes.  Our role will be as experts in communication and balance.  The people who can use test results to create treatment plans customized for individuals who present with unique abilities, needs, and challenges.  Professionals who function as a critical part of a health care or educational team who bring value to the individual and society by virtue of our training, knowledge, and skill set.

In the future, there will be hearing and balance tests and most likely they will be wildly advanced from what we know now.  And there will be devices, more advanced than we can imagine.  But none of these will define us, our unique contribution to our patients will be our ability to improve quality of life in a cost-effective manner using all of the unique, emerging tools in our armamentarium.  

Imagine that you are the health care team member who uses recent advances in auditory neuroscience to assess an individual’s brain’s response to sound.  You are in charge of creating a treatment plan that will include auditory training to reverse deprivation effects caused by untreated hearing loss.  You create a personalized care plan that is monitored through advanced assessment of plasticity changes that signal recovery of processing function which ultimately allows the patient to make the best use of the technology you recommend.

What will it take to create this future?  One, recognizing and embracing our place in the health care value chain.  Two, collaboration between the people in this room – academics who produce new knowledge, industry partners who create the tools to act on this knowledge, and audiologists who put this knowledge into action to impact lives.  Three, collaboration with other health care professionals.  We need to manage the assessment and treatment of hearing and balance problems when they are not the primary health concern but left untreated will negatively impact health outcomes.

I encourage you to use the educational sessions and exhibit hall at this convention to hone your current knowledge and skill set with an eye to the future.  I challenge you to use language that reflects what you do – ask an exhibitor how their new product will improve your patient’s quality of life. Ask a presenter how their data will impact your patient’s ability to be the best version of themselves.

Catherine Palmer, PhD, President-elect, American Academy of Audiology

Posted in Audiology | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Audiology Madness in Columbus, Ohio!

The Best of Audiology is scheduled for next week in Columbus, Ohio for the 31st annual meeting of the American Academy of Audiology. When you stop by the Oaktree Products booth (#1417), be sure you get your hands on:

While at the Oaktree Products booth, make sure you talk to Alison Hartman, Michael Kemp, Dana Drady, Nicole Borg, or David Kemp about the following:

For those of you attending the Cerumen Management Learning Lab on Wednesday, Oaktree Products will be there with our new friend CARL (Canadian Audiology simulator for Research and Learning) to guide you through the hands-on mechanical removal process. Oaktree Products is very excited to see all of you in Columbus next week!

Posted in Audiology, Cerumen Management, Hearing Assistance Technology, Otoscopes, Headlamps & Earlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Audiology Madness in Columbus, Ohio!

Special Dehumidifier for ZPower Charging System!

ZPower rechargeable batteries are available for select products from almost every major hearing instrument manufacturer. Advanced technology often comes with new guidelines on proper handling and the ZPower Charging System is no different. Most commercially available electronic hearing aid dehumidifiers generate temperatures that exceed recommended operating temperatures, negatively impacting charging capacity. For that reason, ZPower batteries must be removed from hearing instruments prior to drying with traditional dehumidifiers. Up until now, this has been the only solution.

A new temperature-controlled dehumidifier developed by MG in collaboration with ZPower is now available at Oaktree Products. The PerfectDry Lux Dry + Charge is the only hearing instrument dehumidifier approved for use with the ZPower Charging System (not included, sold separately by hearing instrument manufacturers). It allows users to dehumidify hearing instruments and charge ZPower batteries at the same time! The UV-C cleaning cycle also supports better ear hygiene by killing 99% of germs. Extend the life of their ZPower rechargeable hearing instruments and minimize repairs with the PerfectDry Lux Dry + Charge.

Now through April 15, 2019, order the PerfectDry Lux Dry + Charge (item# CDZP-02) at a special introductory price. In addition, Oaktree Products is offering a special price on ZPower rechargeable hearing aid battery (size 312) when you purchase two at a time (item# zpower312). For pricing, log in your account at the Oaktree Products website or contact customer service toll free 800.347.1960 or via email otp@oaktreeproducts.com

Posted in Audiology, Hearing Aid Dehumidifiers & Moisture Protection, Hearing Instrument Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Special Dehumidifier for ZPower Charging System!

How To Eat Like An Audiologist – “say the word….COOKBOOK”

During the spring of 2018, the idea of creating a cookbook “….of, by, and for audiologists,” was, well, cooked-up by a group of friends who happen to be members of the American Academy of Audiology. How To Eat Like An Audiologist is a unique, must-have cookbook offering favorite recipes contributed from more than 100 audiologists, along with some “beyond-the-sound-treated-booth” insights into their cooking styles. All costs have been fully underwritten by the cookbook committee to ensure that 100% of all sales proceeds would go directly to the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF). What a perfect gift for you to have and/or to give! It will be available for purchase ($20) at AAA 2019 (Columbus) in the convention center at Academy Central. While you’re at it, why don’t you round up your contribution to $30 (or more) and tell AAAF, “Keep the change!” Seriously, this is a priceless gem as every donated penny supports research, education, and public awareness in audiology and hearing and balance science. After the convention, the cookbook will be available on the AAA website. Bon appetit #audpeeps!

Posted in Audiology | Tagged , | Comments Off on How To Eat Like An Audiologist – “say the word….COOKBOOK”

A.U.’s Adventures in PSAP-land

About four years ago, while sitting at my desk at work, a couple of PSAPs came across my desk with the following note: “Is this something we should offer our customers?” That day, I embarked on a series of projects with my audiology colleagues at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to objectively examine different PSAPs. These collaborations have resulted in a recent publication comparing coupler and real-ear performance between PSAPs and hearing aids (Voss, Oeding, Bankaitis, Pumford, & Valente, 2018), the creation of an ongoing PSAP database, and development of a PSAP resource section accessible from the Oaktree Products website.

On Friday, March 1, 2019, join me live for a 90-minute AudiologyOnline webinar Through the PSAP Looking Glass where I will share my adventures vetting PSAPs. One objective of this webinar is to showcase performance data of a handful of devices trending in the media including those making the most recent “Best of PSAP Hearing Devices of 2019” list. If you can’t make it this Friday, the webinar will be recorded and made available as a free-to-view course. To earn CEUs, become a member of AudiologyOnline for unlimited access to over 1400 online courses developed by audiologists and industry experts. For more information, refer to AudiologyOnline: How It Works.

Posted in About A.U., Audiology, Hearing Assistance Technology, Hearing Instrument Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on A.U.’s Adventures in PSAP-land