Brandon Sawalich: industry opinion on OTC hearing aids


Brandon Sawalich, President of Starkey Hearing Technologies and Chairman of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), recently published an opinion contribution in The Hill, a Washington D.C.-based political journalism newspaper.

Brandon Sawalich: industry opinion on OTC hearing aids

With the fast-moving political changes underway in US health regulations, the OTC hearing aids question continues to draw significant attention. The two sides of the debate have highlighted two radically different visions of hearing healthcare, and perhaps more widely, healthcare in general: medical intervention versus commercial opportunity.

Brandon Sawalich put his perspective forward in the recent opinion piece, stating that hearing loss is a medical issue and should not be seen as a consumer electronics opportunity. His vision is very different from what consumer electronics majors and start-ups have been portraying as an opportunity to help countless people who cannot afford conventional hearing aids.

“Today’s professionally fitted hearing aids incorporate major advances in digital and acoustic technology based on decades of research and development with professional and patient input. Hearing aid technology utilizes advanced digital signal processing to meet the needs of the most complex hearing losses and the most demanding listening environments,” Sawalich explained.

He also highlighted industry figures showing that people who currently use high-quality hearing instruments that are fitted and maintained by qualified hearing professionals report a 91% satisfaction rate. Sawalich added that hearing aid fitting is “one-third product and two-thirds process”.

Source: The Hill