Hearing Loss

Apple announces new focus on hearing protection with Apple Watch & iPhone upgrades


Apple has announced that it is continuing its mission to create safer noise environments for its Apple Watch users.

Whilst Apple has yet to enter the hearing healthcare market- despite a buzz of rumours swirling- the tech giant has made its first stride into the hearing care market. The new feature will alert users if noise or audio is too loud and can be impacting long-term hearing healthy.

“Since hearing loss is often so gradual, it is important to know when the sounds around you are loud enough to impact your hearing, like when you are in the middle of a construction zone, at a sporting event or playing your music really loud,” Apple VP of Health Dr. Sumbul Desai said at the event. “The new noise app uses a microphone to detect decibel levels and can notify you if it has reached a level that can impact your hearing over time. Because the watch is always on your wrist, it is in a great position to monitor environmental noise. If you tap the noise app you will get more detail and you can use the complication to check.”

The majority of the hearing aids we stock at Yes Hearing are iPhone compatible. This allows direct Bluetooth streaming and Bluetooth pairing. Apple have now added new features to its iPhone offering, allowing hearing aid users to control their devices direct through their iPhone. Users will be able to check battery levels, adjust volume and turn on music to be streamed direct.

Apple is constantly developing its healthcare offerings and with a rapidly aging population in the US and Europe hearing health is at the forefront of technological development.

The chief medical officer of the AARP- Dr. Charlotte Yeh- named hearing loss as one of the top health issues that technology could address.

“Technology for hearing devices has improved a lot but it still remains inaccessible to the vast majority of [older] adults for two reasons,” Dr. Yeh states “One is the cost. The current model for hearing aids is thousands of dollars per hearing aid per year. It is not covered by Medicare because Medicare calls hearing loss a normal part of aging, so why should we fix it?”

Whilst the Medicare position is that hearing loss is a natural part of aging, it is not only older people that suffer from hearing loss. The WTO estimates that 50% of young people under the age of 35 are exposed to unsafe levels of noise.

The introduction of new Apple hearing healthcare technology will hopefully be the first step in new technological innovation in the market.

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