Hearing Aid Industry at a Crossroads
Though they left wreckage everywhere in the wake of the Bluesmobile, their deadpan, maniacal focus on their mission, is one of the things I love most. That, and those incredible blues tracks they wrapped the whole story in. So, being a fan of both that quintessential American genera of music, and the movie, it was logical that I be drawn to their visuals, demeanor, and focus when casting about for an image for the mission we are set about.
Ours is a mission that requires your help.
But, please understand that, however noble, like Jake and Elwood’s, our mission will, leave considerable wreckage in it’s wake. Not the Hollywood kind, with car chases, collapsed buildings, and exploding phone booths, but wreckage none the less.
The wreckage we leave behind will include:
- The ossified, cast off shell of old ways of looking at hearing care, and those who provide it.
- Those out of date protocols, proscriptions, and regulations that limit access, or load on consumer costs, with mandated add ons, and required procedures, that may, or may not serve the consumer’s needs, or goals.
- Those current hearing aid manufacturers, and companies who fail to recognise the realities of the very changed marketplace we are in today, and insist on providing their products only in the same old ways, that they always have.
- Those professional associations who continue to insist that their rights to control the hearing aid marketplace trump those of the consumer, to choose for themselves.
- Those colleagues who would attempt to compel consumers to do business with them by, relying upon their gatekeeper status, rather than the value they add to the consumer experience.
Our mission is very simply, to help more people, help more people hear better.
That’s it. It really is that simple.
Yet, due to an ossification of professional, educational, and business interests, we have evolved a hearing aid delivery, and regulatory system that serves not those for whom the system is supposed to serve, and protect, but rather those who run, and attempt to control the system.
The need for change is clearly evident in the fact that we, as an industry, currently reach only twenty, to twenty-five percent of those who could benefit from the products and services currently available.
Our mission, is very simply to challenge those regulations, restrictions, and ways of thinking, that limit access to where, how, and from whom, any consumer can avail themselves of today’s advanced ear level signal processing gear, whether we call it a hearing aid, wireless headset, dongle, or personal sound amplification product.
Given the toll hearing loss has on society, won’t you join us on our mission?
Be you consumer, colleague, or both, there is much to be gained by joining, and much time, and energy to be wasted by clinging to old ways, means, and thinking while the, need, consumer, equipment, and realities on the ground are evolving at an ever accelerating pace.
To continue along the same old, rut worn path, using the same approaches, regulations and protocols, while expecting to hold back the tides of change, or attempting to substitute a license, or academic credentialing, for actual consumer value, in today’s marketplace, is not only failing to recognize that consumers already have other choices, but to risk becoming irrelevant in the process.
Already, the inherent market inefficiencies of the current system have grown so great, that the nations largest health insurer, analysed the actual patient risks, discarded the long cherished, and taught dispensing model, bought their own hearing aid company, and dispense directly to the consumer, either over the phone, or through email, and internet contact only.
That invisible hand of the market so eloquently described by that eighteenth century philosopher, and the father of modern economics Adam Smith described, in his economics classic “The Wealth of Nations” has already stepped in, and begun to more efficiently address the needs of the hearing care market, in the form of Health Innovation, the Internet, Costco and other alternative distribution point for hearing aids, than those who would continue to seek to control the market through their license, or advanced degree.
Understand however, that our mission is not about destroying standards, or eliminating any level of care, or protocol. But rather, simply to put the decisions about the appropriate level of care, back into the hands of the consumer.
Our mission declares that it is, and should be the consumer’s right to choose the appropriate level of medical intervention whenever dealing with the intervention of any healthcare professional, hearing, or otherwise.
Our mission recognises that our world, and the equipment we interact with daily to enrich our lives, is evolving at a rate much faster than either the regulations related to the distribution, and sale of the medical devices we have known, as hearing aids, or the distinctions between those personal electronics devices, that may also fit into the ear.
Our mission recognizes the world as it is, and as it is evolving, not as we’d like it to be, and responds by asking simply this, does what you are doing serve the mission of, helping more people, help more people hear better?
If not, why not join us?
How about it?
Wherever you are, consumer, professional colleague, hearing aid manufacturer, hearing impaired, or not, why not do your part to support the mission?
Thanks for the curiosity, the read, and hopefully your support, comments, or even complaints. Just use the space below. We’d love to hear from you.
With Deadpan Serious Regards,