Cheaper Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Could Be on the Way
Imagine seniors walking around with stylish ear devices that amplify and clarify sound and connect wirelessly to smart phones, tablets, televisions and digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. Technology is already moving in this direction, and consumer marketers such as Samsung, Bose Corp., and Panasonic Corp. are reportedly readying new products of this kind. They’ll be sold over the counter, to customers who will test their own hearing with cell phone apps or online programs and adjust sound parameters themselves. The devices “will be widely used by older people,” just as earbuds are used by younger people today, predicted Richard Einhorn, a well-known composer who serves on the board of the Hearing Loss Association of America, a consumer group. Recognizing market forces, the Food and Drug Administration is mobilizing. In December, Dr. Robert Califf, the FDA’s commissioner, said the agency planned to take “steps necessary to propose to modify our regulations to create a category of [over-the-counter] hearing aids.” Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced plans for a major meeting on hearing health care in April.
Source/more: Kaiser Health News
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.