What is the difference between silver zinc vs. the lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid solutions?
In addition to the new lithium-ion Starkey Muse iQR, we also have a silver-zinc ZPower solution. There are many reasons patients may select the lithium-ion option, however there may be reasons why a patient doesn't choose that type of battery. Starkey Hearing Technologies offers two rechargeable solutions for ultimate flexibility in meeting the needs of patients and professionals.
When it comes to other rechargeable options, the ZPower Muse and Muse iQ micro RIC 312 have been available since 2017. This is another option if your patients are looking for a rechargeable solution, but are concerned about not being able to use a standard hearing aid battery. There are patients that, due to their lifestyle and how they interact with their hearing aids, may be concerned that they wouldn't be able to get their hearing aids charged as often as they would like to. They may travel a lot, or perhaps they go camping for extended periods of time where they couldn't conveniently plug in their hearing aid. That's where the ZPower would be a fantastic solution for them, as the ZPower uses what's known as a silver zinc rechargeable cell. The advantage of a silver zinc cell is that it can be taken out by the patient and replaced with a standard zinc-air battery, if needed. You can offer them the same advantages of rechargeability, as well as the convenience of being able to swap the silver zinc rechargeable cells with zinc-air batteries.
One difference between the silver zinc versus the lithium-ion option is that the silver zinc batteries do need to be replaced approximately once a year. After about 12 months of use, the rechargeable silver zinc cell will start to lose its ability to hold a full charge. This is going to be your opportunity to bring the patient back into the office at least once a year to replace those rechargeable cells. They can only get them from you; they can't order them online. At that time, you can counsel the patient, and perhaps do a cleaning and check their hearing. The ZPower is another option that you can offer to patients that are looking for a rechargeable option, but maybe have slightly different needs. The lithium-ion cell itself should last three to five years. Similar to the battery in your cell phone or your tablet, it should last the life of the hearing aids.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from the CEU course, The Right Power, Performance and Personalized Solution for Any Situation! Click the link on the course title to register and view the course. For more information, visit www.starkey.com or visit Starkey's Partner Page on AudiologyOnline.