AAA congress hits the right note in America’s music city

AAA2018

AAA 2018 in Nashville

Wednesday April 18 was the start of the 4-day AAA-conference in Nashville, USA. The congress is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary with a lot of music, fitting to the congress location of the Music City Center in the city known for its country music. At the kick-off on Wednesday evening, ‘Celebrate Audiology’, thousands of attendants enjoyed live music performances and took pictures with Elvis or Johnny Cash, next to their drinks, bites and vivid conversations. During the whole conference they can participate in many seminars and learning labs and see the latest products of the manufacturers at the exhibition hall.

Most of the participants came to the keynote lecture on Thursday morning of Health Care Futurist Dr. Jeff Goldsmith. His presentation was remarkably political. But with Trump’s actions being the talk of the year in every part of society, it’s not so strange the U.S. President popped up at an audiology conference as well. Dr. Goldsmith started off by talking about the issues of the baby boomer generation, a major group for hearing care professionals. A lot of them are broke, not in good health, and the generation is a ‘political loose cannon’, according to the keynote speaker. Death rates are increasing tremendously in the U.S. For Goldsmith one of the signs of the beginning of a public health crisis. More than half the U.S. population doesn’t have enough money to pay for healthcare, isn’t insured well and can’t afford a hearing aid of 3,000 euros if they need it. Goldsmith sees over the counter (OTC) hearing aids as at least a partial solution to expand the number of people who can improve their hearing.

OTC is still on the agenda at the conference, but other topics such as telehealth, managed care and big data in audiology are vying for attention in the audiology orchestra.

For those not in Nashville, here is your AAA 2018 AWN special:

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Femke Noordink