Widex summit: Going beyond hearing



350 hearing care professionals from across Europe have spent three days in Copenhagen at the Widex Summit 2017 exploring the “Going Beyond Hearing” theme with a plethora of international speakers such as Nina Kraus, Sandra Sieber and Ingrid Johnsrude. The event took place on May 4 - 5.

According to Widex, ‘keynote speakers have explored how human communication can be improved by harnessing the brain’s potential and cognitive capacity for change, while discussing how the nature of the hearing aid’s processed sound can affect the amount of listening effort that the listeners invest into understanding and recognising processed sound. During WAS2017 we challenged the traditional audiological understanding of hearing, and set the agenda with Widex’s “Effortless Hearing” and our goal of designing hearing aids that require the least amount of effort from the listeners to interpret sound.’

The programme also included a visit to Widex’s CO2-neutral headquarters, for detailed demonstrations of their innovative solutions, as well as poster sessions and a factory tour of the environmentally friendly building. The closing event tonight will be a conference dinner at the Royal Danish Opera House.

Lise Henningsen, Director, Audiology and Professional Programs at Widex A/S addresses some questions about the event:

What is WAS2017 all about?

WAS2017 is Widex Audiological Summit 2017. This year we have put together a fun and engaging event showcasing future trends and insights in hearing aid design, audiology and business solutions. We have invited some amazing speakers to inspire us all and guide us into the promising future of audiology and our industry.

Why have you decided to run the two parallel tracks (Audiological track & Commercial track)?

At Widex we always say that helping people hear is our business. And I guess you could say that Widex lives at the intersection of those two areas of expertise. Both are important. But business and audiology are two vastly different disciplines. That is why we have planned two parallel tracks: an audiological track and a commercial track.

Where do you see the intersection between the two vastly different tracks?

Our industry is changing rapidly both on the audiology and business development fronts. We are facing a paradigm shift, not only in relation to hearing but also with regards to connectivity and communications. Looking at the future, our industry’s range of devices will be expanding from the purely medical to the lifestyle arena. We must be prepared to seize the opportunities of this future.

What will be the main theme of the audiological track?

The overall theme of WAS2017 is “Going beyond hearing”. From an audiological perspective, we wish to expand our customers’ understanding of hearing. Instead of viewing hearing as an isolated parameter, we wish to explore hearing as an essential part of human communication. To do this, we have invited inspiring speakers such Nina Kraus and Ingrid S. Johnsrude who will give a biological perspective to listening difficulties and discuss how acoustic information in sound is transformed into meaning.

Can you tell a little more about the main theme of the commercial track?

We’ve all come to know the notions of Big Data and The Internet of Things. And while they may still be slightly opaque for some of us, they will certainly be an essential part of our industry when looking into the future. With the commercial track, we wanted to invite customers to consider the future with us, and explore how digital density can help us move from a “product centric” view to a service model that intelligently takes individual characteristics and customized data into account.

Where can our readers go if they want to know more about WAS2017?

WAS2017 has kicked off in Copenhagen on May 3-5 and you can follow us at #WAS17. If you did not go to Copenhagen yourself, make sure you don’t miss out and watch all our keynotes online at widex.pro/was2017.