Did you know that only about 20 percent of the hearing impaired population has a solution for their impairment, compared to over 95 percent for those with vision problems? iHear Medical Inc., a medical startup company based out of northern California, is looking to change that.
iHear is currently developing the iHear HD hearing device, a high-quality hearing device about the size of a kidney bean. This device will be sold for $199, making it much more affordable than comparable devices that can sometimes cost thousands of dollars.
iHear is able to dramatically reduce the costs involved with hearing aids by cutting out the expensive hearing tests held at hearing clinics. Instead, people who order the iHear receive a iHear Test Kit so that they can take a hearing test online and have their results saved into iHear’s database. Then, iHear will ship a hearing device personalized for that user. Users can also program the hearing aid using their own computers.
In addition to producing one of the most affordable hearing solutions on the market, iHear is also showing a continued commitment to bringing solutions to economically disadvantaged hearing-impaired people in another way. In association with the Hearing For All foundation, iHear will be donating hearing aids to people who cannot afford them. For every hearing aid order that iHear receives, they will be giving away another one. iHear plans on donating approximately 1,000 hearing devices in this fashion.
iHear has reached a point where the software involved in their technology is up and running, although it still requires further integrating and refining before the product is ready for commercial release. iHear is also awaiting approval from the FDA after submitting their application in 2013. If everything goes according to plan though, iHear will look to start shipping out their first orders in August of 2014.
While iHear Medical is a fairly new startup, the company brings a great deal of experience in the hearing aid industry to the table. Adnan Shennib, the founder of iHear, previously ran InSound Medical. InSound Medical created the Lyric hearing aid, a high-end invisible hearing aid that cost several thousand dollars a piece. Shennib started iHear to answer the demand for an affordable hearing device.
“The industry is currently dominated by 6 major players who control over 90% of the market. The industry has operated in the “old business” model of high-cost high-margin service,” says Shennib. “We are about to challenge and lead an industry that refuses to change. The iHear products are expected to create a new paradigm in hearing health care, by removing the major barriers to hearing aid acquisition.”
iHear has created a Indiegogo page in an effort to raise funds for their new device. To learn more about what iHear is doing or to contribute to their cause, please visit their page at igg.me/at/ihearmedical igg.me/at/ihearmedical