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ReSound Nexia - February 2024

New GN Initiative LISTEN TO THIS Unites Global Partners to Raise Awareness of the Link Between Hearing and Cognitive Health

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  • GN is joining forces with leading public and private organizations from across the world to launch LISTEN TO THIS.
  • Spearheaded by BrainWorks, an innovation unit within GN, this partner-led initiative aims to drive projects exploring the connection between hearing and cognitive health and help to provide education to the public and professionals around the topic.
  • There is growing interest in the unique relationship between hearing health and overall wellbeing, particularly cognitive health.

BALLERUP, Denmark – April 25, 2024 – Today marks the launch of LISTEN TO THIS, a global initiative aiming to ensure hearing health is recognized as an important factor in good cognitive health and overall wellbeing. In an unprecedented collaborative effort, GN, the global leader in intelligent hearing, audio, video and gaming solutions, is connecting leading public and private organizations through its innovation unit BrainWorks. The network, which includes UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the National Acoustics Laboratories (NAL), is the first coalition of its kind that spans across continents and sectors, uniting healthcare providers, researchers and patient advocacy groups with a common goal.

Globally, it’s estimated that more than 1.5 billion people experience some degree of hearing loss.1 And by 2050 this number is set to grow to 2.5 billion.1 Over 400 million people with hearing loss could benefit from using hearing devices.2 However, less than 20% of these needs are fulfilled2 – a reality which is impacting both the health of individuals and the health of society.

Despite a reasonable level of awareness around the social impact of hearing loss, there remains a surprising lack of awareness around the broader health implications. BrainWorks was established to explore the relationship between hearing and wider health, aiming to combine the best academic research with the latest in technological innovation. The launch of LISTEN TO THIS is an important milestone in helping to elevate the importance of hearing health as part of overall wellbeing, in particular cognitive health.

Scott Davis, Hearing Division President at GN, explains: "The correlation between hearing loss and cognitive health is complex and spans multiple clinical domains and scientific disciplines. Furthering knowledge and understanding will require continued focus on research and development through cross-disciplinary and innovative partnerships to drive awareness and education. This is the intent of the LISTEN TO THIS movement."

LISTEN TO THIS includes an online central hub that allows both the public and professionals to access the latest research and educational content that connects hearing and cognitive health, all curated by experts in the field. It is designed to be an essential shared resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of these interconnected aspects of health and participate in innovative projects.

“Research continues to show an undeniable connection between hearing and cognitive health,” said George Vradenburg, Chair and Co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Hearing loss can impact the social interactions which are so important for memory and other brain functions and performance. Hearing aids themselves are an important means of reducing the risk of cognitive decline. We’re proud to be part of a collaboration raising awareness of this connection and the need for leaders to make cognitive health a public priority.”

Each partner brings unique expertise and resources to the initiative, contributing to its multifaceted approach towards furthering understanding and awareness of the inter-connectivity between hearing health and cognitive health.

Brent Edwards, Director of the NAL, describes: "We are excited to join a diverse sector of partners to address this pressing health concern. It is important that healthcare providers understand the consequences of hearing loss so they can advise their patients appropriately, and that the general public understands the impact hearing loss may have on their own and their loved-one’s cognitive function.”

The future of the initiative will see further partners collaborating to expand the network and continue to build new resources and heighten awareness.

For more information or to get involved, please visit http://www.listentothis.com. © 2024 GN Hearing A/S. All rights reserved. LISTEN TO THIS ™ is a trademark of GN Group.

About GN

GN brings people closer through our leading intelligent hearing, audio, video, and gaming solutions. Inspired by people and driven by innovation, we deliver technologies that enhance the senses of hearing and sight. We help people with hearing loss overcome real-life challenges, improve communication and collaboration for businesses, and provide great experiences for audio and gaming enthusiasts.

GN was founded more than 150 years ago with a vision to connect the world. Today, inspired by our strong heritage, GN touches more lives than ever with our unique expertise and the broadest portfolio of products and services in our history – bringing people closer to what is important to them.

We market our solutions with the brands Jabra, ReSound, SteelSeries, Beltone, Interton, BlueParrott, Danavox, and FalCom in 100 countries. Founded in 1869, GN Group employs more than 7,000 people and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (GN.CO).

About National Acoustic Laboratories

For over 75 years, National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) has been leading the world in hearing research and evidence-based innovation to improve hearing health and transform the lives of people with hearing difficulties. NAL collaborates with organisations around the world to innovate on novel solutions to hearing health services and technology, conduct sophisticated validation trials on treatment benefit, and provide insight into the needs of people with hearing loss and clinicians who treat them. NAL’s research findings are published in leading peer-reviewed journals and NAL’s solutions are used worldwide.

About UsAgainstAlzheimer’s

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is engaged in a relentless pursuit to end Alzheimer’s, the sixth leading killer in America. Our work centers on prevention, early detection and diagnosis, and access to treatments – all regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. To achieve our mission, we give voice to patients and caregivers while partnering with government, scientists, the private sector, and allied organizations -- the people who put the “Us” in UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. 

1 Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization (2024).
2 WHO issues guidance to improve access to hearing care in low- and middle-income settings. World Health Organization (2024).

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