These days, the world is your hearing oyster. New technology is being introduced at an almost overwhelming rate to help bring better hearing to individuals with hearing loss, even in the most challenging of environments. Regardless of the incredible technology that has become available to the hearing impaired population today, one complaint never seems to go away – speech understanding in noise. Your patients want to hear everything, every time, everywhere. One of the most recent devices that targets this bane of every hearing health provider’s existence is Phonak’s Roger.
Roger is the new standard in wireless technology. Using unique and proprietary frequency-hopping abilities, and a little bit of magic, Roger automatically finds a clean channel for every transmission. Information is digitized and sent in several packets from the transmitter microphone in short bursts at slightly different times and frequencies, giving the receiver the chance to frequency hop in order to select the cleanest packet for transmission. This unprecedented use of digital wireless signals, along with extended frequency bandwidth compared to FM (7300 Hz), helps to give Roger users the most crisp, clean signal that is currently possible, even in environments with high-level diffuse noise.
Performance and speech understanding are crucial to hearing impaired users who struggle in noise, and Roger allows these users to achieve superior performance. However, there is an abundance of other factors that need to be considered when fitting wireless technology on an adult. Traditionally, a myriad of deterrents have prevented providers from fitting their patients with FM systems even though their patients would have substantially benefitted from FM. These deterrents include, but are not limited to: cost, aesthetic, and ease of use. Though effective, FM has never been very appealing or sexy. When conceptualizing Roger, Phonak aimed to reduce the likelihood that a provider would object to fitting Roger on his or her patients due to any of these factors. While considerably more inexpensive than FM systems of the past, Roger is also drastically sleeker and easier to use than FM. Automatic adaptive microphone mode is appropriately selected based on orientation of the Roger Pen microphone, as well as incoming speech signal and noise level, which gives patients maximum benefit with minimum effort. Your patient can have complete control over who he or she hears in a given setting. Roger will also automatically add gain to incoming speech as well as reduce unwanted noise based on the patient’s ever-changing environment, allowing for the best signal-to-noise ratio possible in challenging environments. The aforementioned frequency hopping technology allows Roger to find a clean channel without having to program or sync frequencies between the microphone and receiver. All it takes to connect your microphone and receiver is the quick press of a button. With Roger, a hearing impaired patient receives excellent performance in noise with ease at a fraction of the cost of an FM system. Long story short, if your patient continually reports struggling in noise, Roger will provide significant benefit to him or her in an easy, attractive, and cost-effective manner. What’s not to love about that?
Dan Stover, is a Phonak customer trainer. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in communications sciences and disorders from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his doctorate from University of Texas at Austin. Early in his childhood, Dan became familiar with audiology as he is a long-time hearing aid user. This proved to be a valuable asset to him as he practiced audiology at Austin Ear Clinic, where he performed diagnostic audiometrics, VNG, ABR, ENOG, ECOG, and hearing aid services, prior to his employment with Phonak. Dan is truly passionate about improving consumers’ quality of life through better hearing. Dan is also the consummate foodie, loves anything competitive, travels as much as possible, and enjoys long walks on the beach.