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How can Oticon Intiga Impact Patient Acceptance of their First Hearing Aid?

Don Schum, PhD

April 29, 2013

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Question

How can Oticon Intiga impact my patients’ experience and acceptance of first-time amplification?

Answer

It is important to remember that the typical first-time user is coming from a place where they can get by without amplification. It is not just a matter of whether or not the hearing instruments provide benefit. It is whether or not the benefit outweighs what they perceive as the downsides of being fit with hearing aids. The side effects of being fit with amplification must be kept low since the patient can always choose to continue to get by without assistance.

During the first few days of hearing device experience, it is important that nothing catches the patient off guard in a negative way. Traditionally, many first-time users report being surprised about hearing the background sounds of daily life: the hum of the refrigerator, the “sound of the room”, changes in the sound of their own voice, etc. All these sounds are second nature to the person with normal hearing and to the experienced hearing device user, but have been absent in the experience of the typical first-time user for a number of years. The sudden re-emergence of these sounds may be attributed to faulty, “noisy” hearing device processing. All the new sounds that they hear should be helpful, not superfluous or annoying. In addition, the physical sensation of wearing devices needs to be acceptable. The device must feel light, non-occluding and comfortable.

We developed Oticon Intiga to provide a nothing-but-positive initial exposure to amplification. The following technologies play a role in allowing for fast acceptance:

  • Speech Guard
  • Spatial Sound
  • Open Fittings
  • DFC2
  • New Speaker & Wire Assembly
  • Adaptation Management
  • Fully Automatic Operation (Artificial Intelligence)

The physical design allows for an immediate, comfortable fit, free of occlusion or other unnatural sensations. The speaker provides a stable fit in the ear canal. The likelihood of feedback is kept low. The stable, quiet sound picture provided by Speech Guard avoids the traditional, unnatural “sound of a hearing aid.” Spatial Sound helps maintain a natural sense of where all of the sounds are coming from in the environment. The improved Adaptation Manager walks the balance of providing access to important speech information from day one without overwhelming the patient with levels of sound that catch them off guard. Once in place on the ear, the product requires little or no physical interaction by the patient. The low level of side effects combined with instant access to long-lost speech information allows the patient to quickly move from a tentative, suspicious or otherwise unsure mindset to one where the focus is on new communication access.  Eventually, the benefit offered by the devices becomes the key to success. 

For more information about how Oticon Intiga can help with patients’ acceptance of amplification, please view my article, The Audiology of Oticon Intiga.  Thank you for your question.


don schum

Don Schum, PhD

Vice President, Audiology and Professional Relations

Don Schum currently serves as Vice President for Audiology & Professional Relations for Oticon, Inc.  In that capacity, Don has the responsibility to create and implement new Audiological training material, oversee the Audiological training of all employees, develop dispenser support materials and tools, conduct clinical research, and participate in national and international conferences.  Previous to his position at Oticon in Somerset, Don served as the Director of Audiology for the main Oticon office in Copenhagen Denmark.  In addition, he served as the Director of the Hearing Aid Lab at the University of Iowa School of Medicine (1990-1995) and as an Assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (1988-1990).  During his professional career, Don has been an active researcher in the areas of Hearing Aids, Speech Understanding, and Aging.  Don received his B.S. in Speech & Hearing Science from the University of Illinois, his M.A. in Audiology from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. in Audiology from Louisiana State University.


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