iHear Medical Launches the World’s First Cloud-Based Hearing Solutions

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Innovative online platform by iHear offers consumers direct access to affordable hearing aids and the only FDA approved home hearing screener

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“iHear Medical's goal is to offer effective and affordable hearing solutions, which are in line with prescription eyeglasses sold for under $300”, stated Adnan Shennib, Founder and CEO of iHear Medical.

iHear® Medical announced today the launch of the world’s first online hearing solutions platform. The company begins taking orders today for its flagship invisible iHEARHD® hearing aid, and the iHearTest™, which recently received landmark Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval as the first and only home hearing screener. Delivery of iHear products starts July 15, 2016. The company also plans to launch the iHEARMAX™, a mini behind-the-ear hearing device, on August 15, 2016. iHear’s products are currently being offered in the U.S., with plans to introduce them in China and other markets in 2017.

The cloud-based platform developed by iHear Medical encompasses numerous first-of-a-kind innovations to empower consumers and break through persisting barriers preventing people from obtaining clinically effective hearing solutions. These barriers include outrageous overpricing of hearing aids, the stigma of wearing a visible hearing device, and the cumbersome process of accessing hearing care.

“Our goal is to offer effective and affordable hearing solutions, which are in line with prescription eyeglasses sold for under $300”, stated Adnan Shennib, Founder and CEO of iHear Medical. “In addition to offering dramatically lower cost and inconspicuous wear, the iHear® system offers consumers comprehensive online tools to administer the entire customization process from hearing testing, to individualized calibration of the hearing device—all from the convenience of home. “

The iHEARHD and the iHEARMAX are state-of-the-art programmable hearing aids offered exclusively on the iHEAR online store at the introductory price of $299 and $275, respectively. Programmable hearing aids available from hearing aid centers sell for $2,400 each on the average, and often cost over $7,000 for a pair. Generic hearing aids from online vendors and mail orders are less expensive but are notoriously ineffective due to their poor quality and lack of customization. iHear products combine quality and programmability, and are backed by a one-year warranty, 45-day satisfaction guarantee with professional support available by licensed hearing professionals.

THE FIRST CLOUD-BASED HEARING PLATFORM OFFERING CLINICALLY EFFECTIVE HEARING AIDS AT A FRACTION OF THE CURRENT COST

iHear Medical is launching the first web-based hearing solutions platform, currently supporting two invisible hearing aid options, the iHEARHD and the iHEARMAX, with online tools for self-programming of the advanced hearing aids at home. The iHEARHD is an invisible in-the-ear option for treatment of up to moderately-severe hearing loss. The iHEARMAX is a virtually invisible mini behind-the-ear option for treatment of up to severe hearing loss.

The iHEARHD and the iHEARMAX feature versatile 100% digital sound processing core technology to treat common as well as complex hearing loss profiles, including sensorineural, conductive, mixed, flat, precipitous high-frequency, and reverse slope losses. The cloud-based platform relies on expert-system approaches for automating the hearing assessment and adjustment of the proprietary iHEAR devices.

With this new approach, the iHEAR online platform dramatically lowers the cost of obtaining programmable hearing aids, saving consumers thousands of dollars and improving their hearing outcome.

THE FIRST CONSUMER-CONTROLLED HEARING AIDS CUSTOMIZED BY AN INTERACTIVE LISTENING EXPERIENCE

iHEAR devices are customized by a proprietary process of streaming audio to the hearing device and interactively assessing the consumer’s response to simulated “real-life” sounds. Using these interactive tools, the consumer adjusts the hearing device based on perceptions for loudness, speech clarity and intelligibility for male and female voices, as well as music. The consumer can perform the interactive tuning process anytime and with any computer connected to the Internet. The online platform currently supports Windows PC and MAC OS computers, with plans to offer smartphone support in 2017.

Adjustments of traditional hearing aids offered by other manufacturers rely on prescriptive formulas, which are based on statistical averages of consumer preferences. These generic prescription methods often produce erroneous and unacceptable hearing aid settings, requiring multiple visits to the hearing aid center for adjustments.

THE FIRST AND ONLY FDA APPROVED HOME HEARING SCREENER

iHear is also launching the iHearTest, the first and only hearing screener approved by the FDA for home testing and over-the-counter (OTC) sales. The iHearTest kit allows consumers to rapidly test their hearing ability at home or anywhere with an Internet connection. The iHearTest produces an easy to understand consumer-friendly hearing score, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) grading of hearing impairment. The iHearTest is ideal for adults who suspect hearing loss, or those reluctant to seek professional evaluation. The iHearTest is a hearing screener and not intended to clinically diagnose hearing health. For a medical evaluation of the auditory system, consumers are advised to consult with a hearing health professional.

The FDA approval of the iHearTest was based on extensive technological development and clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy. Other online and mobile apps for hearing testing are available, but these unregulated tests are notoriously inaccurate and do not comply with the accepted standards of audiometric evaluation. The FDA has previously intervened to remove unapproved hearing tests with unsubstantiated claims of accuracy.

The iHearTest kit includes a USB device for connecting to a personal computer and factory-calibrated earphones. The iHearTest kit is offered for $49, which includes credit for 2 hearing tests. Additional credits can be purchased online for testing up to 5 family members.

About Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a global problem of epidemic proportion, and those who are affected often exhibit denial, confusion and even personality changes. The World Health Organization estimates about 5% of the world’s population, or approximately 360 million people, suffer from a disabling level of hearing impairment. More than 40 million people in the U.S. and over 100 million people in China and Japan are known to have hearing loss, with prevalence predicted to rise significantly due to an aging population and growing use of personal listening devices by the youth. While the vast majority of people with hearing loss can be successfully treated with hearing aids, less than 10% of people with hearing loss use them globally due to persisting barriers. A disabling level of hearing impairment refers to a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more.

The hearing solutions developed by iHear Medical are in line with the disruptive technology called for in reports by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and the National Academy of Sciences, which recommend automated online hearing tests and new distribution models for hearing aids that are more affordable and accessible.

About iHear Medical

iHear Medical is a venture-backed firm dedicated to addressing the global need for affordable and accessible hearing solutions. iHear Medical's new products and business models are intended to break through persisting barriers preventing people with hearing loss from using hearing aids. iHear Medical is pioneering the world’s first web-enabled hearing solutions, and was founded by Adnan Shennib, who has started and led the development at several Silicon Valley firms, including InSound Medical, which was acquired by Sonova-Phonak in 2010 in a deal totaling $169M. Shennib’s innovations received major recognition including the Medical Device Excellence Award, and were featured in major media outlets including CNN, New York Times, USA Today and Inc. Magazine. For more information on iHear Medical, visit: http://www.ihearmedical.com

Contacts:

Fonea Lam    
iHear Medical, Inc.
fonea(at)ihearmedical(dot)com
(510) 276-4437

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Fonea Lam
@iHearMedical
since: 11/2013
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