July 2020 Med-Tech Innovation
Danish hearing aid company Widex has announced the availability of its Widex Moment product, which offers a hearing experience by combining AI and machine learning with two signal pathways. According to Lise Henningsen, global head of audiology at Widex, this next generation introduction addresses one of the great unsolved challenges in the industry: no matter how good they sound, it still sounds like a hearing aid.
Henningsen said: “Though traditional hearing aids have made tremendous strides in areas such as hearing loss compensation, speech intelligibility, noise reduction, and more, one’s first encounter with a hearing aid sound has historically been quite strange and unfamiliar, often leaving people doubtful of the benefits – until now. Widex Moment is not just another hearing aid that makes sound audible again, it is an innovative new sound platform that offers a sound so natural and pristine you instantly recognise your own voice, the sounds around you, and the voices that matter most to you. We have taken a huge step towards truly restoring hearing, as you remember it before any loss occurred.” The ‘tinny’ and ‘artificial’ sound of hearing aids is produced when sound processed in the hearing aid reaches the eardrum a split second later than the sound that travels directly through or around the hearing aid’s ear-tip. Widex aims to eliminate that ‘out of sync’ sound for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Henningsen added: “ The future of hearing aids will be unlocked through the combination of perfectly natural sound with the latest in streaming, rechargeability, and customisation. We’re breaking down the hearing aid stigma, across all generations, by equipping wearers with a way to experience one’s natural hearing, customised for any environment, while enabling connectivity with all of your favourite apps and devices.
The Widex Moment platform leverages two signal pathways: the ‘classic’ Widex signal pathway paired with Widex ZeroDelay Accelerator reduces the processing delay between microphone and receiver to below 0.5 milliseconds, enabling the two sound signals to meet at virtually the same time in the eardrum – thereby eliminating the artificial sound quality and creating a more natural sound experience.
Widex Moment also comes compatible with the SoundSense Learn smartphone app, which leverages breakthroughs in AI and machine learning to personalise one’s hearing experience and create hearing programs based on a wearer’s typical environments – a daily commute, an open-office floor plan, a favourite restaurant, and more. The app gathers a variety of anonymous data such as how often the wearer adjusts the volume, which sound pre-sets they most regularly use, and how many custom settings they create. These adjustments and custom settings can then also be shared with their hearing care professional.