Denmark: staying in the lead in hearing aids


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Denmark may be a relatively small country with about 6 million inhabitants, but it is a giant in the area of hearing aids, supplying half of the devices sold worldwide. The country has a long tradition in the sound sector, with several major suppliers of hearing devices but also the stereo maker Bang & Olufsen and sound measurement company Brüel & Kjaer. Reuters reports on some of the market forces at play in the industry and the new direction some local companies are taking.

The potential in the industry is estimated to amount to some USD 15 billion, and this is likely to grow as the iPhone generation and the baby boomers grow older. Not to mention the growth potential in emerged and emerging countries where wealth in increasing. In addition, only 10% of global needs for people with hearing loss are currently being met. Certain factors may be holding the market back, in particular cost and the stigma still so often attached to wearing a hearing aid.

Danish companies are leading the way in developing new technologies that it is hoped will help to overcome the stigma by making the devices more attractive. A good example is the recent collaboration between GN Store Nord and Apple Inc., who joined forces to develop LiNX, a device using Bluetooth-like technology installed in the ear that enables users to stream voice and music from their iPhones without the need for an intermediary device. Keeping up with the need for connectivity is therefore considered vital by some market players. There is, however, still some uncertainty about the level of interest the over 65 demographic will show for this type of technology.

Source: Reuters US