Saturday, July 26, 2014
Technology continues to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, as earlier this year, Resound developed a hearing aid in collaboration with Apple's products.
Users of compatible hearing aids can talk on the phone, make Facetime calls and listen to music in high quality stereo.
When Steve DeLuca was 28-years-old, he developed a brain tumor.
"It knocked out the hearing in my left ear, and then over the years, my right ear has gotten bad, and then I lost the hearing in my right ear also without the tumor," DeLuca said.
DeLuca is a firefighter for Northbrook Fire Department and has been there 22 years.
"I drive the engine," he said.
Hearing aids help him, but he learned from his audiologist about the made-for-iPhone hearing aid.
Laurel Christensen is head of audiology for GN Resound group, a Danish hearing aid manufacturer who partnered with Apple on this product.
"It's a hearing aid, professionally fitted just like any other hearing aid," Christensen said. "It's a premium high-end hearing aid with high-end sound processing. In addition to that, it will connect to an iPhone so everything that's audible from the iPhone will stream directly to the hearing aid.
"So that can be obviously a telephone call, it can be music, it van be videos, anything that is audible from the phone will go directly into the hearing aid," she said.
It is compatible with the iPhone 5 iPad Air and the iTouch.
"It's priced like a premium hearing aid, so they can be $2,500 to $3,500 depending on where you go," Christensen said.
"The Apple hearing aid is by far much better than the other hearing aid is, the technology that Apple uses and being able to sync with the phone just opens us to so many things that I'm able to do," DeLuca said.
"There is a wow effect with the hearing aid alone, and when you connect it to the iPhone, people are able to hear things from an iPhone that they were never able to hear clearly before," Christensen said. "We are getting a lot of positive feedback and it helps hearing-impaired people in more environments than they were able to hear before."
For cochlear implants, there is no made-for-i-Phone product. But Christensen believes in the future and that they will have something like this.
For more information, visit Apple's website.