Phonak Faces of Audiology: Five minutes with Anna Biggins, Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak HQ
AudiologyOnline: Anna, you can look back at more than 25 years of experience in audiology. When and how did you decide to pursue a career in this field?
Anna Biggins: I did not look to become an audiologist, but I would say that audiology rather found me. Audiology satisfies my need to focus on technology, but also has that human element to it as well. One day, I could be heavily working on a development project, very structured, and the next day, I could be out there for a real-life test of a new product, chatting with hearing care professionals and patients on their needs and experiences. No two days are ever the same, and this is what I love about my job.
AudiologyOnline: What made working on the manufacturer side the perfect choice for you?
Anna Biggins: There are many facets of audiology that I was involved in over the years, but during my time at Phonak, I have developed a real passion for the product itself. What fascinates me most about working on a product is that you need to translate what we are doing on a technology level into patient benefits. This is why I work a lot with colleagues from R&D, Marketing and other functions who are experts in their fields. I have had the chance to learn a lot from all of them over time, and the constant interdisciplinary exchange is a great source of inspiration for me.
AudiologyOnline: One product you have been involved in very closely is Lyric, the so-called contact lens for the ear. Can you tell us a bit more about this product and what makes it so special?
Anna Biggins: Lyric is a totally unique concept for a hearing aid in terms of its design, how it is fitted and the way it is worn by the patient. For example, it is still the only hearing aid that is specifically designed so that it does not need to be taken out while sleeping. These are the kind of differences that caught my interest. It challenges me to think differently about hearing aids and people’s needs which is why I love working with Lyric.
AudiologyOnline: Within the Faces of Audiology campaign, you have shared your vision of the future of our industry, and that for you, it is all about bringing the digital and the analogue world closer together. Can you explain this a bit more?
Anna Biggins: Yes sure. For me, it will not be about replacing all things analogue, but about combining both worlds in a clever way. I think that it will be important to bring real life experiences and virtual experiences closer together to enhance our solutions and services for our customers and patients. Digitalization offers us great new possibilities to bring many of the things we are already doing well to the next level. This starts with the way we develop and test audiology, but also includes the way we reach out to patients and how we support them in their daily lives with their hearing aids.
AudiologyOnline: Through the Faces of Audiology campaign, we have also learned that your family would describe you as a loud person in the best sense of the word…
Anna Biggins: Yes, this is true (laughs). I am quite lively, and whenever I am home, they can hear me singing, or running up and down the stairs. I am an outgoing person, and that also translates over into my work life. I love sharing my ideas, meeting with others to discuss new approaches, and also having fun with my team. But I think it is also important to listen to what others have to say. It’s all very well talking all the time, but communication should always be a two-way thing.
Learn more about what drives Anna in her daily work and her current projects: https://audiologyblog.phonakpro.com/faces-of-audiology/anna-biggins