For more than 115 years, Demant has played a vital part in developing innovative technologies and gathering know-how to help improve people’s hearing and break new grounds in the field of audio.

In every aspect, at every touchpoint, Demant is active and engaged: from hearing devices and hearing implants, diagnostic equipment and hearing care to intelligent audio and video solutions.

 



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In the light of the coronavirus challenges that the hearing healthcare market faced in 2020, I am very satisfied with our performance, particularly with a strong second half-year and generally with the accomplishments of our new Communications brand, EPOS. In a tough year, our ability to steer the company in the right direction by balancing cost savings and investments and by supplying products and services to our highly valued customers has been crucial. This only goes to show the innovative capabilities and can-do attitude of every employee of this Group: We take initiative, we find solutions and we act.

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The Demant Group entered 2020 at a high pace, which we kept in the first months of the year. Then, in the unprecedented period from mid-March and a couple of months onwards, the coronavirus pandemic caused almost a complete halt to activities in the hearing healthcare market. Restrictions all over the world forced especially the elderly population to stay at home and consequently hearing aid clinics had to close. Conversely, EPOS experienced tailwind and benefitted from the surge in demand for virtual collaboration tools and entered the market under the best conditions for a company that is active in audio solutions.

Approaching the second half-year, we saw positive recovery in almost all our markets, and the trend continued until almost the end of the year, resulting in strong revenue growth in local currencies of 14% in the second half-year compared to -18% in the first half. Faced with a second wave of coronavirus, we closed 2020 with uncertainties about the hearing healthcare market but also with confidence that vaccines will pave the way for the release of pent-up demand for hearing care solutions from both current and first-time users who were put on hold in 2020.

The essential link confirmed
Our experience from the impact of coronavirus in 2020 is, however, not entirely discouraging. The crisis proved that hearing care and a person’s ability to be an active part of society matter more than ever. Remote service surely picked up during the most extensive restrictions, but as soon as hearing aid clinics started to reopen, we saw the need for access to both person-centred care and the latest technology, with users literally queuing up outside our clinics. This emphasises that what we do is essential not only for the individual user but indeed for society as a whole.

The need for personal hearing care also underlines Demant’s all-important engagement in hearing aid retail, and in 2021, we are happy to increase the transparency of reporting in this business area, renamed Hearing Care. Hearing care professionals are indeed frontline staff, and their ability and willingness to show flexibility in difficult times have been very important, most notably the impressive speed at which they managed to reopen clinics and offer their services while never compromising on safety and health.

Access to all sounds
The ability to hear is one of the finest senses we have, and audio stimulation is fundamental for all people. From our research in hearing and the brain, we have established that the brain needs access to all sounds in the environment to function optimally. By applying this knowledge to hearing technology, we enable the hearing aid users to enjoy more complete sound landscapes with less effort and simply get more out of life when they use our products. The new platforms recently launched in all our hearing aid brands are further testament to these claims, and with Oticon More, we took a giant leap forward by being the first manufacturer to apply new innovative technology in the form of an on-board deep neural network to a hearing aid. With these groundbreaking new products, we are in excellent shape to deliver on our ambition to becoming the biggest provider of hearing aids in a market with tough competition.

Shared opportunities
In Demant, we take advantage of our shared opportunities in the Group. Evidently, our market presence and shared functions can be leveraged across the Group, but equally important is it to harvest synergies across our core R&D activities. The BrainHearing paradigm used for the development of hearing aids is also used for sound processing in hearing implants. Keeping a high pace in our R&D activities and successfully introducing new products and services in Oticon Medical are key for us to be able to help more people with severe or profound hearing loss. So, in a difficult year, I am very pleased with Oticon Medical’s ability to take market shares, with our bone anchored hearing systems activities, and with the ability of our cochlear implants business to keep pace with the market. Furthermore, we have succeeded in submitting the final application to the FDA for approval of the Neuro system in the US, and we expect to get the approval in the second half of 2021.

A long tradition for creating business
The year turned out to be much more positive for our Diagnostics business area than we had feared when the market was hit the hardest. The fact that we take market shares and sustain almost neutral growth levels in a very difficult market proves the importance of diagnostics in hearing healthcare. From a modest market position in the mid-90s, Demant’s Diagnostics business has for more than a decade been global market leader thanks to the development of existing and addition of new business activities.

This ability to create business and expand the Group continues with EPOS. For transparency purposes, we have split our business into two financial segments, Hearing Healthcare and Communications. EPOS addresses a different market, but there is major technological overlap to hearing healthcare, and even though EPOS fundamentally provides very different products and solutions, the results we aim to achieve are similar: To enable people to connect through solutions that are free of noise or poor sound quality, which challenges dialogue.

I am extremely pleased that our audio solution activities have now been fully integrated into the Group and also with EPOS’s ability to meet the unforeseen surge in demand for headsets caused by coronavirus. Also in this business area, we have seen how a crisis can confirm that what we offer is essential, namely high-quality virtual meeting and collaboration tools, which – together with digital platforms – make up for the physical meetings we could not have, a trend that we believe will extend into the future.

Sustainable behaviour
I would like to extend my thanks to all Demant’s stakeholders: Users who show trust and loyalty, customers, suppliers and employees who are dedicated to making things work in difficult times as well as investors, banks, local authorities, politicians and society at large that have all supported hard hit businesses like ours, removed uncertainties and given us the confidence to maintain our investments in the future. To me, this is sustainability and brings me to our own responsibility, our own sustainable behaviour.

I am happy that we have launched a new strategic direction for our work with sustainability, and we have indeed made progress this year, especially in the area of business ethics with the launch of a new Code of Conduct and whistleblower scheme. The core of our sustainability efforts is life-changing hearing health and the quality of life that we bring to our users. In addition to focusing on our core contribution to society, we will also strengthen sustainability in our operational practices, and we have two main priorities in this regard: Diversity and inclusion, the fostering of an unbiased and inclusive culture with equal opportunities, and our climate footprint with focus on reducing our packaging and waste, on sourcing green energy and on ambitious CO2 reductions.

I take an optimistic view of 2021. Due to coronavirus, many people did unfortunately not have access to the high-quality hearing care they should have received in 2020, so we at Demant are ready to support them with our broad and unmatched portfolio of products and services.

 

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For more than 115 years, Demant has played a vital part in developing innovative technologies and gathering know-how to help improve people’s hearing and break new grounds in the field of audio.

In every aspect, at every touchpoint, Demant is active and engaged: from hearing aids and hearing care to hearing implants, diagnostic equipment and services as well as premium audio and video solutions.

You can find us in many parts of your surroundings. In hospitals, medical centers or hearing care clinics where we stand by, eager to help you find the right solution to overcome your hearing loss and enable you to life the life you want.  And even in office spaces and gaming communities – where our audio expertise brings people together through excellent sound.


Want to know more about our business areas?

 

Read more...

 

 

Hearing Aids

  • Covering all ranges of hearing loss from mild to profound
  • The industry’s most advanced centre of excellence for research in audiology and hearing loss and the development of hearing aids
  • Manufacturing and distributing hearing aids to hearing clinics, benefitting people in more than 100 countries
  • Providing local service, support and training of hearing care professionals
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    Hearing Care

  • Global network of approx. 2,500 clinics providing hearing care to people with hearing loss in 18 countries
  • Performing hearing tests and fitting hearing aids to help users get the right hearing aid for their specific hearing loss
  • Providing service, individualised care and aftercare to make sure that every hearing aid is active and used correctly 
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    Hearing Implants

  • Providing implantable hearing solutions to patients facing the hardest hearing challenges 
    Cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing systems can bypass the challenged parts of the inner, outer or 
    middle ear, thereby helping patients hear better
  • Performing the surgical procedures at hospitals or in an outpatient setting
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    Diagnostics

  • Developing, manufacturing and marketing a wide range of solutions for hearing and balance assessment, including instruments, consumables, services and installation
  • Products include audiometers, ABR equipment for hearing screening of newborns, tympanometers, hearing aid fitting solutions, balance systems, otoacoustic emission instruments as well as other solutions used by audiologists and ear, nose and throat specialists 
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    Communications

  • Developing and marketing premium audio solutions designed for enterprise and gaming applications under the EPOS brand
  • Products include headsets, speaker-phones, software and accessories
  • EPOS is established with own sales companies in 16 countries and addresses markets in more than 50 countries.

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      Communications

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    In 2020, we launched EPOS, our high-end audio solutions company within Enterprise and Gaming. As the demand for hybrid workplaces, new gaming platforms, as well as premium headsets and speakerphones took off in 2020, so did EPOS. Not only did we launch a new brand together with several successful products and campaigns, but the company transformed into a fully integrated part of the Demant Group, with a setup of 18 legal entities and more than 500 colleagues across 54 nationalities.

    In the coursee of 2020, EPOS has shipped approximately 5 million headsets and speakerphones across the globe and our ambition for 2021 is to grow even further. EPOS will continue its journey toward becoming the preferred premium audio brand in Gaming and Enterprise and to make consumers experience the Power of Audio.


    On February 5, Oticon launched a new brand platform to maintain the position as technology leader within the industry. Oticon has a proud heritage of bringing life-changing products to the market in an extremely competitive marketplace, where you need to stay sharp to secure future success. Oticon therefore proudly presents its new brand platform, which contains Oticon’s new vision, mission, payoff, concept, brand characteristics, and logo. Please enjoy the brand film below.

    [iframe data-category-consent="cookie_cat_marketing" data-consent-src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/497221316" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen][/iframe] [p][a href="https://vimeo.com/497221316"]New Oticon Brand Platform[/a] from [a href="https://vimeo.com/user67286866"]Demant A/S[/a] on [a href="https://vimeo.com"]Vimeo[/a].[/p]
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    Oticon is again setting a new standard in the essentials category with the introduction of its new hearing aid, Oticon Ruby. Notably, Oticon Ruby offers reliable contact-free inductive rechargeability and also packs in great sound quality, a new feedback management system, and outstanding wirelessly connectivity – a combination of features never before seen in Oticon’s essential category.

    Feedback management prevents whistling before it occurs
    Designed to improve sound quality and a user’s overall hearing aid experience, the Oticon Ruby SuperShield feedback management system analyses incoming sound levels, identifies feedback risk and quickly prevents whistling before it occurs. Now users in the essential hearing aid category can hug, talk on the phone, or travel in their car without the whistling traditional hearing aids are prone to.

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    State-of-the-art rechargeable solution
    Oticon Ruby is the first Oticon essentials hearing aid to feature a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. A stable and stylish charger offers hassle-free, reliable charging which can provide a full day of power in as little as three hours. A thirty-minute recharge can keep Oticon Ruby powered for up to an additional six hours.

    Outstanding wireless connectivity
    Oticon Ruby includes 2.4GHz Bluetooth® low energy technology to efficiently connect with, and clearly stream from TV’s, Computers, iPhones® or any other modern smartphone via ConnectClip. Users can stream music, watch videos, take calls and much more, enjoying stereo sound to both ears free from unwanted noise.

    “As we develop new, pioneering technology, we look to ensure that as many hearing aid users as possible reap the benefits,” says Thomas Behrens, Chief of Audiology, Oticon. “With Oticon Ruby we provide a wealth of features, which have never before been seen in one complete essential solution. Combining the best sound quality that we have ever provided in the essential category with lifestyle enhancing features such as rechargeability and a plethora of connectivity options, Oticon Ruby users can enjoy a device that not only works but also improves their everyday life.”

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    In 2020, two new studies were published that underlines the advantages of Oticon Medical’s Ponto bone anchored hearing system.

    98% of users report improved quality of life after Ponto surgery[1]
    This minor procedure improves quality of life – almost to the same level reported by cochlear implant recipients. When using the Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery (MIPS), it provides a suture-free procedure with a unique approach to tissue preservation.


    [1] Lagerkvist, H, et al. (2020). Ten years’ experience with the Ponto bone anchored hearing system – a systematic literature review (under review).

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    In a complex listening environment, more than 80% prefer Ponto 4[1]
    Built on the Velox S™ platform, Ponto 4 features the groundbreaking OpenSound Navigator™ offering speed and precision for constant access to 360° sound. The result is a truly open and balanced sound experience in complex listening situations, bringing significant improvement in speech understanding

    In 95% of follow-up visits no skin-related aftercare treatment is required[2]
    The Ponto abutment family, with its even and supporting surface, is a proven, skin-friendly concept. A systematic literature review reporting on 10 years’ experience with the Ponto™ System demonstrates a low need for skin-related aftercare treatment.

    The Ponto System is a bone anchored hearing system. It consists of a small implant that is surgically placed in the skull bone just behind your ear and a sound processor that is attached to an abutment (connector) on the implant. The sound processor captures sound in much the same way as a conventional hearing aid. However, instead of sound transmission through the ear canal via air conduction, it transforms the sound into vibrations that are transmitted through your bone via the implant and directly into the cochlea in the inner ear. In this way, bone anchored hearing systems use the body’s natural ability to conduct sound.



    [1] Bianchi, F, Weile, J N, et al. (2020). OpenSound Navigator™ for Ponto, Oticon Medical white paper 215170.

    [2] Lagerkvist, H, et al. (2020). Ten years’ experience with the Ponto bone anchored hearing system – a systematic literature review (under review).

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    In the early spring, Oticon Medical introduced Neuro 2 connectivity worldwide. An important step for the Neuro System to become a truly premium offer in the Cochlear Implant (CI) marketplace.

    The Neuro 2 sound processor is now fully compatible with the Oticon Medical Streamer XM – a trusted and well proven connectivity technology that originates from Oticon with close to a million streamers in the field today.
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    With Neuro 2 connectivity, CI users can access a wide range of electronic devices to wirelessly transmit sound to the sound processor. Users can now stream phone calls, video chats, TV shows, the teacher’s voice or sound from a looped environment. These solutions are designed to match a wide variety of lifestyles and devices and can be controlled either from the Oticon Medical Streamer XM or the ConnectLine App on a smartphone.

    The Neuro 2 Swim Kit solution, launched in the summer of 2020, targets both candidates and existing users. Waterproof solutions are in demand from the market and the Neuro 2 Swim Kit solution is among the best in the industry: Tailor-made for Neuro 2, the swim kit is highly functional, robust, and reusable.

    With these releases, Neuro 2 is a highly attractive solution for new candidates and existing users looking for the ultimate combination of sound quality, aesthetics, ease of use and ‘the most connectivity opportunities in one system’.

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    Your employees have made such a huge difference today, for which I can only send my biggest gratitude. You have enabled her to use her phone, and I can feel safe now knowing that I can get in touch with her.

    During the current coronavirus situation, people with a hearing impairment still need important support to be able to continue taking an active part in their daily lives. As many other countries, Denmark imposed limitations to the social life in early spring, making it more important than ever to prioritise good customer service. During the lockdown, Oticon Denmark received an e-mail explaining just how much the support means during a time like this.

    This is an excerpt of the e-mail:


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    “I would just like to express the absolute biggest praise to four of your employees – not just a little, but really the biggest praise.

    My mother relies greatly on your hearing aids and Connectline accessories. This Saturday, her streamer broke, which meant that she was unable to speak on the phone – in fact she was not able to call her doctor or an ambulance, well any form of emergency really.

    So, she drove to Randers Monday morning to get a new streamer, but the shop was closed, and she had to return emptyhanded. So, I called support and got hold of the nicest employee, who drove to the shop with a new streamer for my mother to collect.

    Afterwards, I visited my mother to help her pair the devices, so that her phone, streamer and TV once again would work together. But I just couldn’t pair the hearing aids; even when I meticulously followed the guides on your website. I will admit that I began to panic. It is a very long and anxious wait until April 13 when your mother does not have the opportunity to call for help – especially these days.

    So, I found the number for Oticon Support in Thisted. I got hold of yet another fantastic employee who forwarded me to Lars, a technician. He promised to do everything he could to help us. Apparently, the pairing of the streamer and the hearing aids had to be done by an Oticon employee. We agreed that Lars tried to find an available employee for the following day, Tuesday.

    Lars called me and explained he had found yet another amazing Oticon employee in Snedsted. My mother and her neighbour took the almost two-hour long drive up there. When they arrived, they were met by such a caring and kind person. My mother was helped in a calm and benevolent manner, and she felt very relieved. Your employee brought the streamer and hearing aids inside, while my mother and her neighbour had coffee on the parking lot outside. In addition to the very calm way your employee took care of everything, she even cleaned the hearing aids. When my mother got her streamer and hearing aids back, there was a very kind handwritten letter included.

    Your employees have made such a huge difference today, for which I can only send my biggest gratitude. You have enabled her to use her phone, and I can feel safe now knowing that I can get in touch with her.

    Thank you so much! I really hope that you will share this story among you and give a nice pat on the back to these four superheroes! Take care and stay safe in these times.”


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    Oticon RemoteCare was originally scheduled to be rolled out in the U.S. as a pilot over the Summer and to be launched more broadly in the Fall. The coronavirus crisis changed that plan radically.

    The outbreak of the coronavirus in the U.S. in March made the rollout of remote care a top priority for Oticon and the solution was released to all customers by 6 April. With Oticon RemoteCare, hearing care professionals can communicate with patients and make real-time adjustments to the patients’ hearing aids remotely using a camera, microphone and speaker - and a stable internet connection.

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    The remote care solution was developed to enable HCPs to help and assist people with hearing loss when in-person appointments cannot take place. This made the solution a highly desired tool when the coronavirus started to impact the U.S. society.

    “Prior to the coronavirus, we had some HCPs asking for an Oticon remote care solution, but the coronavirus situation has created an extra need for the solution among our clients. We are working closely together with our partners to expand the usage and benefits of Oticon’s remote care solution. The HCP’s definitely prefer to have the counselling in person but see the benefits of using other measures in challenging times like these,” Paul Bauer, Director of Product Management in Oticon U.S. explains.

    Prospects of remote care
    “Our remote care is a very useful and seamless tool for servicing existing users remotely by using modern technology and connected hearing aids. Oticon’s RemoteCare solution can be used to fit hearing aids remotely. During the crisis we’ve seen strong interest in this area, but it’ll take a long time before this becomes an established service model with hearing care professionals,” says Demant’s CEO Søren Nielsen and continues:

    “Selling a completely new hearing aid to a first-time user is a totally different process. It requires a hearing test, checking for earwax, testing domes and perhaps casting an ear mould as well as counselling and training. Selling hearing aids remotely to new users is not an optimal solution and will be used for emergencies only. No one can prepare a real audiogram remotely, so whatever the hearing test of a new user shows, the user will have to visit a professional audiologist or ENT doctor to have a full and necessary test done before he or she gets a hearing aid.”


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    For the fifth year in a row, Oticon was awarded the prestigious prize as most popular employer in the category “Electronics & Telecommunications” by “Ingeniørens Profilanalyse” that evaluates 111 Danish companies.

    Around 4500 engineers and 1300 engineering students take part in the annual survey that ranks Danish engineering companies based on a variety of different parameters such as career opportunities, company culture, professional development, work-life balance and high-quality products. Oticon ranks ninth in the overall score and first within the “Electronics & Telecommunications” category.


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    “We are very proud to be chosen as the most attractive company in this category in the 2020 profile analysis”, says Finn Möhring, SVP, Research & Development, Oticon. “Every day, I am impressed with what our extremely skilled engineers manage to achieve with our hearing solutions. We have some of the World’s best engineers here at Oticon and Demant, and this is needed in a competitive business where new technology is often introduced. This is the fifth year in a row that we have the honour of receiving this award, and this makes all of us – and me! – very proud.”

    A strong culture
    The award is an extremely important element in Oticon’s employer branding efforts, explains Employer Branding Manager at Demant, Mikal Thorborg:

    “It is a huge acknowledgement and a very impressive result made possible by the many employees who help out at career fairs, teach at universities and so on. All this positive interaction has helped us toward this result, which would not be possible without our skilled employees who truly live out the values of our company. An award of this kind is a token of a very strong company culture.”

    Finn Möhring also highlights the culture at Oticon as something special:

    “We value professional competencies highly, in joint effort with innovation, and then we basically believe that it should be fun and challenging to go to work. We have an extraordinary company culture here with so many skilled employees, and we are very happy to see that the engineers taking part in this survey also see us as the most attractive company in this category,” he finishes.

    [iframe data-category-consent="cookie_cat_marketing" data-consent-src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/497217703" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen][/iframe] [p][a href="https://vimeo.com/497217703"]EPOS - Bad Audio is Bad Business[/a] from [a href="https://vimeo.com/user67286866"]Demant A/S[/a] on [a href="https://vimeo.com"]Vimeo[/a].[/p]
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    Bad audio is bad business and “what?” is the most expensive word in business today. This is the clear conclusion of the latest survey performed by EPOS, which finds that 95% of audio end-users and decision-makers experience pain points relating to sound that affect their concentration or efficiency at work. Launched along the successful “Bad Audio is Bad Business” campaign, EPOS’ marketing efforts secured maximum global reach, strong brand engagement, and a significant increase in share of voice of the EPOS brand.

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    In 2020, when lockdown measures were initiated across Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, the Demant Hearing Care business was forced to close most of its clinics around the world.

    In the following months, lockdown measures were eased and already by the beginning of second half of the year, our Hearing Care business managed to reopen most of the clinics around the world – and being characterised as essential services in most countries, we have stayed open during the pandemic.

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    Safety of our employees and customers have been our highest priority during this period. We have taken great pride in taking the right precautions and safety measures in each of our clinics. This means cleaning the clinics at a significantly higher frequency and we instruct our employees in the right use of gloves and masks. Furthermore, we have installed plexi screens in the clinics and we ensure that we adhere to the recommendations of sufficient room and distance – all to ensure that our customers and employees are safe and comfortable when interacting.

    Therefore, we are also happy and proud to see that taking these precautions have resulted in high demand for our services from our customers. Due to our safety measures in our clinics, we have managed to serve almost as many customers as usual during the second half of the year.
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    EPOS brings gamers ‘out of this world’ premium audio equipment, to perfect the immersive gaming experience.

    In July 2020, EPOS launched the first global gaming campaign, promising ‘Out of this world gaming audio’, with resounding success. The campaign – led by a highly stylized video set in a decidedly noir future - challenges the stereotypes around gamers and shows that the immersive nature of gaming is in fact for many gamers the way they relax and enjoy some me-time in an otherwise busy life. This surprising insight is taken from research that shows that gaming for many people aids their mental wellbeing, rather like the way some people do yoga or meditate.

    [iframe data-category-consent="cookie_cat_marketing" data-consent-src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/497219465" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen][/iframe] [p][a href="https://vimeo.com/497219465"]EPOS - Out of This World Gaming[/a] from [a href="https://vimeo.com/user67286866"]Demant A/S[/a] on [a href="https://vimeo.com"]Vimeo[/a].[/p]
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    In many developed countries there is a shortage of hearing care professionals. This is a major problem since many people who could benefit from having a hearing aid can’t get the help they need. Either because there is a long waiting time for an appointment or because there is a large distance between the patient and the hearing care professional.

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    The GSI AMTAS product is a proprietary software that solves both problems. It is a self-administered hearing test that can be performed without the presence of a hearing care professional. The patient simply puts on a set of headphones and follows the instructions on a touch screen computer or tablet. Afterwards the results are sent to the hearing care professional for evaluation.

    AMTAS can be used either in a clinic for walk-in appointments, where the audiologist may be busy, or to perform a complete clinical audiometric test if there is a staff shortage or geographical difficulties.

    AMTAS Is widely used in the US Veterans Affairs System and is part of their telehealth and remote care program. AMTAS Is also gaining traction in the private sector globally. Telehealth is one of the most talked about subjects today in hearing care. 

    Read more about the GSI AMTAS here

    New science in hearing has shown that the brain needs access to the full sound scene in order to work in a natural way.

    Oticon has always taken the approach of developing hearing aids that support the brain in how it makes sense of sound. Rather than only focusing on the ears, Oticon thinks brain first. It is a journey of constant discovery where Oticon explores brain-related territories in audiology. Oticon calls this unique thinking BrainHearing.

    The latest scientific breakthrough makes it clear that our brains need access to the full sound scene.

    [iframe data-category-consent="cookie_cat_marketing" data-consent-src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/497220659" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen][/iframe] [p][a href="https://vimeo.com/497220659"]New BrainHearing research[/a] from [a href="https://vimeo.com/user67286866"]Demant A/S[/a] on [a href="https://vimeo.com"]Vimeo[/a].[/p]
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    End of August 2020, the first ever global consensus paper on the usage of cochlear implants as the minimum standard of care for adults with severe to profound hearing loss was published in the scientific journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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    The scientific paper is produced by a panel of 26 experts in the field of cochlear implantation from 13 different countries. The paper presents 20 consensus statements, or recommendations, for which the scientific expert panel could identify solid evidence in the literature covering the themes:


  • Awareness of cochlear implants
  • Best practice clinical pathway for diagnosis
  • Best practice guidelines for surgery
  • Clinical effectiveness of cochlear implants
  • Factors associated with post-implantation outcomes
  • The relationship between hearing loss and depression, cognition and dementia
  • Cost implications of cochlear implants

  • Historical cooperation in the cochlear implant industry

    The publication of the paper is funded by the four cochlear implant manufacturers: Oticon Medical, Advanced Bionics, Cochlear and MED-EL, and all four manufacturers have contributed equally.

    “Today, only about five percent of the people who could benefit from a cochlear implant receives one. This is a very low rate, and we hope to raise the level so more people receive the treatment that best suits their hearing loss. The global consensus paper is a way to increase awareness and knowledge about how severe or profound hearing loss can be treated with a cochlear implant and how effective cochlear implants are. And the paper gives guidance to professionals on when the time is right to refer for a cochlear implant assessment,” Tine Schou, Vice President, Marketing, Oticon Medical explains.

    To read the paper, click here

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    A recently updated report in the medical journal The Lancet once again finds hearing loss to be the largest modifiable risk factor for dementia and furthermore claims that hearing aids are protective against dementia. The report is thereby another token of Demant’s life-changing efforts within hearing health.

    The Lancet is one of the most influential scientific journals within medical sciences, and in 2017 they published a report identifying hearing loss as the largest modifiable risk factor for dementia, and in the recently updated report, which was released in July 2020, the use of hearing aids is also under scrutiny:

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    “The verdict from The Lancet is that active use of hearing aids is most likely reducing the risk of dementia. So not only can hearing loss accelerate dementia, but it is becoming more and more likely that hearing aids can contribute to prevention”, says Thomas Behrens, Senior Director, Centre for Applied Audiology Research at Oticon and continues:

    “A report like this shows that our focus on the brain and sound quality in Demant makes sense. And this focus will only grow bigger in the future.”

    Technology and BrainHearing
    The connection between hearing and the brain is not a new thing at Demant. Thomas Behrens explains that Oticon’s focus on hearing and the brain can be dated all the way back to a study at Eriksholm Research Centre 25 years ago.

    “What we do in Demant is that we deliver technologies that give the brain the best possible stimulation. If we make sure that our technologies become even better – and that we become even better at fitting the hearing aids to address people’s specific needs – then the positive effects should only become stronger and stronger,” Thomas Behrens says and concludes:

    “Dementia is a very serious condition. It is a major thing that we are able to help prevent this disease. And every time we sell a hearing aid, we play an active part in preventing dementia.”


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    A new packaging concept for all hearing aid brands saw the light of day in 2020. The new solution improves the user experience, optimises the packing setup and reduces waste.

     

    In 2018, Demant embarked on a packaging journey to improve the unboxing experience and optimise the way in which hearing aids are packed. The improved packaging setup introduces sustainable alternatives and reduces excess material, bringing value to users, the Demant Group, hearing healthcare professionals and the environment:

  • Paper and cardboard in boxes made from 70-100% recycled materials produced on 100% green energy
  • FSC-certified materials
  • Improved workflow for healthcare professionals
  • Fewer components mean less waste
  • Reduced transportati

     

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    Demant works actively to reduce waste, substitute materials as well as opt for more sustainable solutions. This is not only a concern to us but also prioritised by our customers and users. The new solution remedies a common challenge, namely the binaural challenge. In short, when a hearing care professional in a clinic needs two hearing aids for one user, the previous packaging setup offered two complete sets of hearing aids with appertaining boxes, accessories, user guides and carrying cases. The new solution introduces sustainable materials and reduces excess packaging.

    Heidi Gade, Packing Development Manager at Demant explains how rethinking the entire process is the key to success: “It has been a comprehensive and cross-functional project, involving many different stakeholders, but the optimised packaging project is a great example of what can happen when you dare to rethink the process and tip your supply chain upside down. The result is a solution that brings value to our business, our customers and users and, of course, the environment”, she says.

    The new hearing aid packaging setup was introduced in selected markets in 2020. Remaining markets follow in 2021.

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    A new milestone in diagnosing patients with balance conditions was reached in October 2020 when the 3rd generation of Micromedical VisualEyes™ by Interacoustics ™ was launched.

    The product is a new generation of earlier diagnostic equipment aimed at helping patients with balance and dizziness issues both in the vestibular system and in the central nervous system. The new VisualEyes™ system now features more applications, for example the EyeSeeCam vHIT and several new tests, which makes the product relevant to more patient and customer groups.

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    To be diagnosed the patient wears special goggles which tracks the eye movement, and in some cases the patient can be placed in a rotation chair to further improve measurements.

    The new VisualEyes™ system offers a complete diagnostic tool to make a precise and thorough test of patients suffering from dizziness and vestibular disorders. Thanks to the full-scale features in VisualEyes™, the entire patient journey can now be handled by one health care clinic.

    The usual customers are audiologists, ENTs, physiotherapists and neurologists, and it is primarily used at larger balance clinics and hospitals.

    Jacob Bjerrisgaard, Business Unit Manager of the Interacoustics Balance Team, said:

    “The launch of VisualEyes™ 3rd  generation marks many years of hard work to combine Micromedical’s popular balance products with new Interacoustics software and technology to be able to offer the best product in the world that ENT’s, vestibular audiologists and balance clinics can use to diagnose dizzy patients.”

     

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    This fall, MedRx introduced the Kiosk system to make it easier and less complicated for people to get their hearing screened.

    Normally you would see a hearing specialist if you suspect you have a hearing loss. This requires booking an appointment in a clinic, finding an available time, commuting to the clinic and undergoing a hearing test.

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    The Kiosk system makes it easy to perform a remote hearing screening without any appointment at a place near you. It consists of a tablet and headphones, where you can perform a hearing screening that will show you whether your hearing is fine or you need to undergo a full hearing test - in order to access whether you would benefit from getting hearing aids.

    The tablets are placed in public accessible places like pharmacies, libraries, supermarkets etc. and are connected to the local hearing clinic, making the hearing screening accessible for a professional hearing specialist.

    During October, the Kiosk system was launched in US, Europe and Australia and it will be expanded over the coming months.

    “We know from studies that it is usually a very long consideration process prior to getting your hearing tested. With the introduction of the Kiosk system it has become much easier to get an initial assessment of whether you could benefit from getting a hearing aid. We have seen that the consideration process has been narrowed down substantially which again means that people are getting help overcoming their hearing loss earlier, enabling them to enjoy life” Vice President at MedRx, Caleb Sparkman explains.

    On 30 November 2020, Demant announced the launch of new ground-breaking hearing aid technology in all of its four hearing aid brands, Oticon, Philips HearLink, Bernafon and Sonic. From December and onwards, each of the four brands has rolled out new flagship hearing aid families across all major markets.

    Oticon More gives access to all relevant sounds
    Oticon launched the new, revolutionary Oticon More, which is the world’s first hearing aid that allows users to hear all relevant sounds thanks to an on-board Deep Neural Network. The Deep Neural Network allows the brain to get a better balance of all sounds so people with a hearing impairment can get access to the full sound scene while also experiencing a reduction in listening effort.

    A deep neural network is an algorithm integrated in the hearing aid that is trained by being fed with examples of the signals it will encounter in the real world, for example a voice in a noisy environment and the same voice without noise. Based on vast sound processing experience, the Deep Neural Network has been trained with 12 million sound scenes from real life. This optimises the way Oticon More makes sounds more distinct by working seamlessly across varying listening environments with unparalleled precision and clarity, while ensuring that the sound is comfortable for the user. With this integrated intelligence, Oticon More has learned to recognise all types of sounds, their details, and how they should ideally sound to optimally support the brain.

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    New flagship hearing aid families in all brands
    Philips Hearing Solutions launched the next generation of Philips HearLink hearing aids. Featuring Artificial Intelligence (AI) sound technology, the new hearing aid family will bring a significant change in hearing aid technology.

    Bernafon and Sonic also launched new hearing aids. Bernafon introduced Bernafon Alpha that features Hybrid Technology, including a revolutionary approach to signal processing that always chooses the most optimal performance based on a precise analysis of the listening situation. Sonic introduced Sonic Radiant, which comes with technology that actively finds, filters and fine-tunes sound so that the user can make the most of every moment. All products feature direct streaming from iOS and compatible Android devices and are prepared for the coming Bluetooth® LE Audio standard.


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    In 2020, Demant continued the global introduction of Philips Hearing Solutions to the hearing aid market. Now, 18 months later, Philips HearLink hearing aids are sold in multiple markets around the world and present unique opportunities for hearing care professionals in an ever-evolving market.

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    “We have moved from business development mode in select markets to a global footprint in the hearing aid market, “says Søren Skjærbæk, Vice President, Philips Hearing Solutions, Demant. “In many of the markets we entered, Philips Hearing Solutions have become a trusted partner with hearing care providers, proving that the unique combination of a premium consumer brand and first-class hearing technology is a winning combination for both hearing care professionals and consumers.”

    In December 2020, the new Philips HearLink hearing aids with pioneering AI sound technology together with a strong consumer campaign are released to the markets.

    the-modern-hearing-care-expert-audika

    Since 2016, Audika Group has been on a journey to consolidate its different brands into one brand with a common culture and a streamlined way of operating and servicing our customers across the world.

    By now more than 15 countries have been re-branded under different sub-brands such as Audika, Hiddden Hearing and HearingLife. Why? We want to further establish our global position as “The Modern Hearing Care Expert” and realize our vision to help more people hear better and deliver on our purpose to create Life-changing Hearing Health.