Hearing Aid Quality: Devices You Can Rely On
AudiologyOnline: How does Phonak approach the topic of reliability when it comes to hearing aids and what should HCPs know?
Lisa Hos: Reliability is a huge priority for Phonak. It is one of the reasons that we started using the IP ratings for our hearing aids back with Naída in 2008. As our platforms have evolved, not only have we continuously improved sound quality and hearing performance, but we have also seen continuous improvement in reliability. In fact, I just got some really exciting data about Lumity showing that the service rate is trending about 30% better than Paradise, which was already significantly better than Marvel. This means less down time; more time on people’s ears and I am pretty excited about this.
AudiologyOnline: Wow! That seems like a really meaningful improvement for end users and providers.
Lisa Hos: I agree, especially when you consider that our largest group of patients use Lumity products for an average of 14-15 hours per day! That shows us how highly reliant people are on their Lumity devices and how well the devices work throughout people’s real-life environments, from streaming to screaming. Acknowledging this dependence, we want to make sure that our hearing aids perform day in and day out for our users.
AudiologyOnline: Makes sense! You mentioned IP ratings. The new Lumity Life product is waterproof, beyond the IP rating. What does that mean to a consumer?
Lisa Hos: There are multiple design features that make Lumity Life more resistant to moisture than our other devices. To ensure this reliability, we tested Life in a far more rigorous set of real-life conditions, including factors like sweat and pool water beyond any standard, to ensure that this product is of the best quality possible.
AudiologyOnline: If someone is experiencing reliability problems, do you have any suggestions of what a provider can do to minimize patient downtime?
Lisa Hos: Yes, my recommendation would be to start at the periphery of the system. When a problem does pop up, we find that it usually isn’t the hearing aid itself. So, for starters, with rechargeable Paradise and Lumity devices, I would swap out the wall plug. We have recently started shipping a new one with new orders and service repairs that is even more stable and reliable. Then, I would check the charger cable, they can become damaged, contacts get dirty… you know the drill. As part of our continuous improvement, we are always testing our devices and have recognized that the wall plug for our Charger Ease is the best and most stable one. Now, as of the end of January, all of our rechargeable products are transitioning to ship with this better plug.
AudiologyOnline: So, you are saying that as people have become more reliant on your products, the products have also become more reliable! And in fact, many issues don’t have to do with the devices themselves and can be solved in the field without any downtime for patients?
Lisa Hos: You got it! And we won’t stop here. This team is working not only on bringing the most reliable products to market and making all in-market products perform at their best but also on substantially exceeding any other devices in the market. I know that it sounds bold, but it definitely speaks to our commitment.
If you have any questions about how to deliver the most reliable hearing experience to your patients, please contact your Phonak representative. For more information on Phonak Lumity, click here.