annualreport-2021

Annual report 2021

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2021 was a great year for Demant. Our employees delivered an extraordinary effort to keep activities running at a high pace, leading to excellent results. We are in a very strong position and enter 2022 with great confidence in our new ambitious financial and sustainability targets.

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Interacting with the world enriches our life, and hearing is essential for our ability to share our thoughts, interact and connect with friends, family and colleagues. In short, to be actively engaged without constraints. In 2021, we once again saw that our purpose to create life-changing differences through hearing health is more meaningful than ever. The developments of the past year confirm our belief that the activities of this global hearing healthcare and audio technology Group are essential for people to be present and act in the world. Whether it is about helping people with hearing loss through diagnosis, care and cutting-edge technology or collaborating by means of audio and video solutions.

Despite high ambitions from the beginning of the year, we upgraded our expectations of operating profit for the year three times in 2021, ending with a record-high EBIT. We can look back on a year where the Demant Group has proven healthy and where we once again showed that when we pull together, we stand strong as a Group. Let me illustrate our progress through a few highlights from our business areas in 2021.

Providing the best care
Hearing Care – our global network of clinics – performed very well in 2021, as we continued to develop and train our staff, benefitted from the harmonisation of brands, exploited digital opportunities and expanded our clinic network. Our work to refine Audika Group, which comprises our well-reputed brands Audika, Hidden Hearing and HearingLife, and to disseminate personalised hearing care resulted in very strong performances in almost all countries.

The good results in Hearing Care were firmly backed by the positive trends resulting from the French hearing healthcare reform, which offers a public/private treatment setting that has equal focus on quality by offering high-quality hearing aids and on quantity by helping more people. The success of the reform is a testament to the strong model of combining personalised care with state-of-the-art technology.

High standards for innovation
The year’s results were also lifted considerably by our innovation power in Hearing Aids. For the benefit of our customers and users, we completed the roll-out of premium products, Oticon More, Philips HearLink, Bernafon Alpha and Sonic Radiant, all based on a new technology platform. Towards the end of the year, we had shipped more than one million premium hearing aids powered by an onboard Deep Neural Network that mimics the way the brain works – a major advancement in artificial intelligence in hearing aid technology, I am proud to say. We are now looking forward to expanding and completing the product families, enabling us to help even more people hear better and experience the joy of a rich soundscape.

Market leader in Diagnostics
Having performed well for many years, our Diagnostics business has seen very positive development in 2021. If we look at the different areas, particularly balance equipment, hearing aid fitting equipment as well as service and calibration stood out in 2021 and contributed to the further consolidation of our Diagnostics business area as market leader.

Committed to high quality
Up until the fourth quarter, Hearing Implants focused largely on product launches, most prominently the very successful introduction of Ponto 5 mini, the world’s smallest bone anchored sound processor, and on the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of our cochlear implants system Neuro in the US. In the second half-year, however, we had to shift focus in our cochlear implants business, and for the first time ever, the Group performed a voluntary field corrective action in relation to performance issues in a small subset of cochlear implants.

We recalled a number of non-implanted Neuro Zti cochlear implants and by doing so, we stayed true to the Group’s commitment to only deliver products of the highest quality. We deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused our stakeholders and users, but we have done our utmost to handle the situation, and after having identified the root cause, we have initiated the implementation of a solution to the issue.

Expanding the business
Our plans for the Communications business area revolve around expanding the business in several markets by establishing the EPOS brand as a strong premium brand in audio and also by offering video collaboration solutions. Our ambitious plans for EPOS are intact in a long-term perspective, but in a short-term perspective, they have turned out to be more difficult to realise than anticipated, so, on the back of an exceptional 2020, we saw a decline in revenue in 2021, albeit with an increase in the number of orders towards the end of the year.

Sustainability progress
At Demant, sustainability is embedded in our solutions and culture: Our core commitment to society is to help people overcome hearing loss and improve their quality of life through care and innovative solutions. Our priority in 2021 has been to continue to implement our sustainability strategy and to further develop our two main priorities, diversity and climate action. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly integrated part of the way we work, which can be illustrated by the progress we have made with our two main priorities:

We aspire to have zero environmental impact by 2050, and in 2021, we committed to the Science Based Targets initiative. With this Annual Report, we disclose our ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: By 2030, we must reduce our carbon footprint from own direct and indirect emissions by a minimum of 50% from a 2019 baseline year. We have also taken ambitious steps to assess and disclose emissions from our entire value chain, which gives us a platform for submission of our targets and for validation of the targets against the Science Based Targets initiative in 2022.

The promotion of diversity was high on our agenda in 2021. The Demant Group employs a diverse group of people from all parts of the world and with many different backgrounds, and our ability to embrace the strengths that this diversity brings to the table is one of the pillars of our success. Our key achievement in 2021 was the development of a diversity, equity and inclusion programme, which will – along with an inclusion survey – form the basis of policy-making and target-setting in the area of diversity in 2022.

An aspect of inclusion is to succeed in promoting a unique culture, and to that end, we have adopted new ways of organising and leading by introducing global guidelines on workplace flexibility in 2021. Developing and engaging employees is becoming increasingly important in relation to the recruitment and retention of talent, and also in this area, we keep increasing our focus and activities. 

Positive outlook
We owe our customers, shareholders and employees a very special thank you for their tireless and impressive commitment and support in 2021.

Having now entered a new financial year, we continue, despite continuous coronavirus dynamics, to see a resilient hearing healthcare market with intact fundamental market drivers. In 2022, and in the years to come, we expect to see strong growth and market share gains.

With an ambition to become world-leading and a purpose to create life-changing differences through hearing health, we promise to keep delivering high-quality and individualised support to our users to enable them to get the maximum benefit of our solutions.

Søren Nielsen

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Demant is a global hearing healthcare and audio technology Group that offers people the possibility to be actively engaged without constraints.

We operate in niche markets with a number of major players, intense competition and a high level of innovation covering all aspects of hearing health, Hearing Care, Hearing Aids, Hearing Implants and Diagnostics. From this platform, we have added a growing business in premium audio and video solutions, Communications.




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    Communications

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In January, Interacoustics launched a new type 4 audiometer built into a headset to the global market. This industry-leading headset-only design supports fast and easy hearing screening of all age groups. Besides the Luna audiometer headset, it only requires a license key, patient response, and a Windows® tablet or PC to run the software.

 

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Lise Ebdrup, Market Development Manager at Interacoustics explains:
“Luna is a real ‘plug-and-play’ audiometer. The calibration is stored in the headset, so as soon as you install the software and connect the headset to your laptop or tablet, you are ready to start testing your patient. And if you change your laptop or table, you can just plug your headset into a new device – you do not need to calibrate the audiometer again.”

Successful launch in Denmark 
Globally, Luna will be sold into various segments where fast and easy hearing screening is required. However, Interacoustics already launched Luna to the Danish market back in September 2020. In Denmark, the main segment will be the school screening market where the fast and portable Luna system can be used for screening of children all the way through pre-school, primary and secondary school.

Lise Ebdrup says:
“School nurses need a fast audiometer that is easy to use. They are depending on a system that works each time, as time is a critical factor in their daily work”.

And so far, Interacoustics’ Danish sales team has successfully brought the new Luna device to market: “We have 98 municipalities in Denmark and approx. 1600 schools. We are now preferred supplier to the school screening market in most of the municipalities,” says Lise Ebdrup.

Luna is delivered with four hearing tests (manual, automatic, automatic 20 db and Hughson Westlake) and offers pure tone, warble and pulse tone. The random automatic test with the default seven frequencies only takes a minute to complete.

  • Facts about Luna: Type 4 audiometer in accordance with IEC60645-1
  • Comes with four hearing tests (manual, automatic, automatic db and Hughson Westlake)
  • Offers pure tone, warble and pulse tone
  • Can run on Windows® tablet or PCA random automated test takes about 1 minute to completeWeight of only 0.5 kg.
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To mark its 75-year anniversary, Bernafon launched a global campaign highlighting key company milestones and achievements over the past three-quarters of a century.

Targeting hearing care professionals and end-users alike, the campaign brought stories to life through fresh and engaging content published on a webpage and dispatched across Bernafon’s online touchpoints.

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The first story chronicles the company’s beginnings, starting with that day in 1946 when Hans Gfeller Jr., a student in engineering, got hold of his father’s new hearing aid and took it apart with a screwdriver to see how it was made. Other stories will also shine a light on the events that made Bernafon the unique company it is today.

“For 75 years, we have been empowering millions of people to hear and communicate better. This makes us one of the longest-standing hearing aid companies in the world – definitely something to be proud of,” Erich Spahr, General Manager, says. “With passion, competence, and dependable partnerships, we have pioneered many leading innovations and industry firsts – Bernafon Hybrid TechnologyTM being the newest.”

But the 75th anniversary campaign doesn’t just reflect on the past – it also looks to the future:

“This campaign is an opportunity for us to strengthen our brand identity across markets and build trust across multiple audiences,” Spahr summarizes. “It’s also a great vehicle to drive conversations beyond the product and underscore what makes Bernafon a truly different brand.”

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Audika Group is on a continuous journey to stay ahead and be in the forefront of digital innovation within hearing care. In 2021 focus has been on innovation within digital marketing and modern learning – directed both internally at our employees as well as externally towards our customers. We have implemented a global, digital and integrated learning platform to share knowledge and upskill employees together with a platform enabling a superior consumer experience. In this way, we want to ensure that our customers experience the best and most rewarding services.


Even though the in-person customer experience remains one of the most valuable services, Audika has in 2021 strengthened its digital set-up and solution for Remote Care to provide customers with the best digital experience. Furthermore, Audika has significantly increased its share of appointments coming from digital channels and professionalized online communication even further by launching a new state-of-the-art platform for all webpages.

Going forward, digital innovation will continue to be at the very center of Audika’s business model and services.

 
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The introduction of Oticon More has had a highly positive impact for Oticon within its Veterans Affairs (VA) business. Launched within VA in May, Oticon More has driven a large increase in sales.

Veterans Affairs is a branch of the US federal government with the purpose of offering life-long healthcare services to eligible military veterans in the US. A part of this service concerns hearing healthcare, where VA employs around 1350 full-time audiologists who help hearing-impaired veterans getting the right hearing solution. The audiologists fit around 70,000-80,000 hearings aids each month, which makes VA a very important customer to Oticon.

“The commercial market in the US received Oticon More in January 2021, and it worked to our favour as there was a lot of interest in the product and a pent-up demand when it was released in May. We started with pre-sales in mid-April, and by May 1, we had our biggest sales day ever,” says Rob Zimmer, Director of Sales, Oticon Government Services. Oticon More launched on 30 November 2020. The revolutionary Oticon More is the world’s first hearing aid that allows users to hear all relevant sounds thanks to an on-board Deep Neural Network. The 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 perspective while also experiencing a reduction in listening effort.

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On 21 April 2021, EPOS unveiled the EXPAND Vision series and launched EXPAND Vision 3T - a video bar certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android. Hybrid working is certainly set to dominate in the future. The flexible workforce requires video conferencing solutions that ensure effective collaboration and productivity, regardless of location.

 

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The EXPAND Vision 3 Series is unique, since it sets out to provide a new standard in connecting professionals through enabling simple, effective video collaboration. It simplifies the user experience to ensure that no time is wasted on unnecessary set up. Without the need for a PC users can start meetings with a single touch and share content wirelessly from their preferred device. Superior audio makes sure that everyone in the video conference is truly heard.

 

The launch of EXPAND Vision 3T provides the opportunity for EPOS to establish a strong foothold in the video collaboration space, consolidating the product portfolio with high quality audio and video solutions. Jeppe Dalberg-Larsen, President at EPOS, comments: “The launch of EXPAND Vision 3T marks an important milestone for EPOS and our move into the video collaboration market. Our aim with this launch is to provide professionals with the tools they need to collaborate and perform at their best, while continuing to challenge what is technically possible in delivering premium audio. The video collaboration journey starts here, and we look forward to seeing this new chapter of EPOS unfold.”

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Demant Hearing Aids eliminates 11.5 tonnes plastic in production thanks to a technical optimisation. The approach, which shows great potential, is being replicated in other areas, indicating even larger material reductions in the near future.

All Demant Group hearing aids come with a small filter in place to prevent earwax from getting into the instrument. As the small filter gathers wax, it needs to be changed frequently, and the fresh filters are stored in a plastic container – to insiders referred to as a turtle because of its shape.

Looking at the plastic we source to produce hearing aid parts, the turtles alone account for around 40%, making them the biggest plastic source in our yearly consumption. With great simulation technology and a moulding method new to Demant, we have saved 11.5 tonnes of plastic a year when producing turtles.

The turtle-project indicates a large potential to replicate and use simulations in other parts of the accessories’ production, which is already commencing.

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In the beginning of 2021, EPOS launched their partnership with Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Teams as Global Audio Partner and with the Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team where EPOS provide a range of products from their gaming portfolio.

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Teaming up with a Formula One team provides EPOS with the ideal arena to demonstrate its products at the highest level of motorsport, as they provide the Aston Martin Cognizant team access to some of the most advanced audio solutions on the market, thus strengthening the team’s trackside set-up as well as factory-based operations.

Otmar Szafnauer, former Team Principal & CEO, Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team said:

“Precise and streamlined communication helps to define a successful Formula One Team, and it can directly translate into success on the track – whether that’s a call made from the pit wall or in our processes back at the factory as we strive for greater performance. Considering the importance of effective communication, EPOS is an ideal partner for the team. Its passion for high technology and approach to innovation resonate with our values and are intrinsic to Formula One as a sport.”

World class communication tools have become a key pillar of performance in Formula One - a sport where each fraction of a second counts, clarity and precision are essential.

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Hearing aid manufacturer Oticon, together with their research centre Eriksholm, have new research revealing that hearing aids could reduce the impact that sound, and more specifically noise, has on a person’s stress levels. Providing a glimpse into the future of data-driven hearing aid innovation, the new data collected could one day see well-fitted hearing aids actually being used to help reduce raised heart rate.

 

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As part of its ongoing BrainHearing™ research programme, which looks at reducing the listening effort of a person with hearing loss, Oticon and Eriksholm are working on new ways to determine how changes in sound influence health. Its new hearing research includes a study of heart health. Eriksholm has measured pupil dilation to determine stress caused by sounds and the effort of listening as well as studied heart rate both in the lab and the real-world, the results of which demonstrate the importance of effective hearing aid technology and correct fitting.

Oticon More™ hearing aids feature advanced noise reduction working in unison with a deep neural network allowing users to hear all relevant sounds. This is a completely new way to support hearing loss, breaking with the tradition of directionality technology, which fundamentally limits what a hearing aid user can hear at any one time. Oticon More enables a user to hear more naturally and also ensures sound is ‘comfortable’ to listen to, creating the perfect conditions to help reduce listening effort and stress, which as per Oticon’s real-world study would help with heart health in the noisy environments that users face on a daily basis.

“Noise, which essentially is unwanted sound, can be terribly unhealthy”, says Jeppe Høy Christensen, researcher, Eriksholm Research Centre. “Creating a link between lab studies and user provided research, we can confidently say that by effectively making noise less burdensome by enhancing relevant sounds through hearing technology we will be able to help improve not only the brain but also the heart health of our hearing aid users. Our research strives to constantly inspire improved hearing aid technology, and we are particularly proud to have uncovered such a significant revelation. The consequence could even see manufacturers of other hearing products, such as headphones, employing new technology to benefit their users’ health.”

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In May of 2021, Demant signed the pledge to increase diversity in the company.

The Gender Diversity Pledge was developed by a special committee for diversity of the Confederation for Danish Industry (DI) of which Demant is a member.

One of the overall goals of the pledge and committee, is to reach an equal gender distribution at a 40/60 ratio in the population of the Danish private sector, opposed to the 30/70 ratio of women to men that is currently the case.

“This [pledge] will support the equal opportunities that are fundamental to making our company better, more innovative and more competitive”, says Henrik Christiansen, Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

The principles of the pledge also commit the signatories to let the diversity work be data driven, set targets, monitor progress, and support earmarked parental leave for men.

On a global scale, female managers already make up 42% of managers in Demant in the countries for which we have globally aligned data, and 60% of the total Demant population. However, the equal distribution is not a fact in all countries, such as in Denmark where women make up around 30% of managers.

Demant is working actively to change this situation and will integrate the principles of the diversity pledge into Demant’s new global policy and approach.

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On 24 June 2021, Oticon Medical received a pre-market approval (PMA) from the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration) for the company’s Neuro Cochlear Implant System.

The Neuro System is designed to overcome severe-to-profound hearing loss and is the first new cochlear implant technology to earn FDA pre-market approval in more than 20 years.

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The process to gain the pre-market approval is notoriously complex for devices in Class III, like the Neuro System, because this category receives the highest level of regulatory scrutiny. To finally reach this milestone is a great win for Oticon Medical and the Demant group.

This achievement is only the beginning, and the thoroughly trained and experienced team behind the Neuro System is ready to bring a leading edge and highly reliable implant system to the US market.

“Earning FDA premarket approval for the Neuro System is a significant achievement, and one that will enable us to bring new implant hearing technology with exceptional sound quality, enhanced aesthetics, user friendliness and reliability to more patients than ever before.” said Jes Olsen, President of Oticon Medical.

 

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In August 2021, Oticon Medical launched their Neuro Zti MRI 3T cochlear implant. The new device is able to withstand the strong magnetic field of an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner at magnetic strengths up to 3.0 Tesla (3T).
 
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At some point in our lives, many of us will need an MRI scan, and CI users are no exception. Oticon Medical have re-designed their implant with a magnet that allows the user to undergo MRI scans at both 1.5T and 3.0T for scanning durations of up to 60 minutes. There are no restrictions on head placement and no bandaging is necessary (limitations that are known for other devices).

The Neuro Zti MRI 3T implant and magnet remain secure and steady during the scanning procedure by way of a unique fixation system, which also allows for the users to undergo multiple scans. 

The new magnet is protected from the force of the MRI’s magnetic field because it is constructed from an innovative new composite of metals similar to those used in the aerospace industry. Users of the Neuro Ci System with the new MRI 3T implant can rest-assured that they will maintain their hearing before and after an MRI. 

Jes Olsen, CEO of Oticon Medical, said: 
“An MRI might not be something that CI candidates have top of mind but needing an MRI scan at some point in life is quite common. So this advance is another reassurance from Oticon Medical that we strive to make living with a CI as uncomplicated as possible.”

 

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In the beginning of June, Demant completed the transfer to a new factory in Tijuana, Mexico. The brand-new facility of 20,000 square meters makes Demant ready for further capacity expansion in the North American region.

Since 2014, Demant has shared facilities with William Demant Invest subsidiary Össur in Tijuana to cater for the custom and service production to the North American market. Over the last years, growth in volume and consolidation of production efforts have made the need for more space increasingly evident. Therefore, the solution for Demant was to build a completely new factory in Tijuana.

“It is a major milestone that we have now completed the move into the new factory in Tijuana. It has been an enormous project involving people from many different sites and countries within Demant. We have had a great collaboration with Össur at their facility, but we simply needed more space, and we are proud to move into our new, fantastic site,” says Torben Engell Nielsen, Vice President, Global Custom Operations and continues:

“Following the positive development of our company, we need even more capacity for production as well as a regionalised distribution center within Hearing Aids Operations. This expansion is a key part of developing our business on a global scale, and with the proximity to one of our largest markets, we can service the North American region even better from our site in Tijuana,” Torben concludes.

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Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) is a behavioral hearing test that allows hearing care professionals to test children too young for normal audiometry tests. By using visual reinforcers, the hearing care professional engages the infant or child to take part in the hearing test, and the test becomes more gamelike. This gives more time to establish their hearing levels.

Interacoustics has just revealed its new digital visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) solution: VRA Screen – which is also a valuable tool when testing difficult-to-test children.

Helle Jensen, MSc Audiology, and Clinical Product Manager at Interacoustics, describes VRA further:
“The child is conditioned with sound from a speaker, and when the child turns his/her head toward the sound the hearing care professional rewards the child with a video or an image. VRA is advantageous with young children as it is a fun and interactive way of testing.”

The Interacoustics VRA Screen has been released globally.


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In 2021, Oticon Medical launched Ponto 5 Mini – the first style in the new Ponto 5 family of sound processors for Bone Anchored Hearing Systems. With a revolutionary approach to feedback, this new sound processor takes the open sound experience, first introduced with the groundbreaking OpenSound Navigator™, to a new level.

 

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New research shows that the brain needs access to all sounds from the full soundscape to help it make sense of what it hears.1,2 OpenSound Navigator™ and OpenSound Optimizer™ are just two of the BrainHearing™ technologies used in Ponto 5 Mini to give users access to more sound than ever before. This has been confirmed in a study that show that the open sound technologies of Ponto 5 Mini improves speech understanding by 20% and significantly reduces the listening effort needed to make sense of sound. *,3

Up until now, traditional feedback systems have overcome annoying whistling sounds by reducing gain and removing the dynamics of sound. The new OpenSound Optimizer in Ponto 5 Mini analyses amplified sound 56,000 times per second to detect and actually prevent audible feedback before it occurs. This means audiologists no longer need to compromise on sound dynamics to reduce feedback and can fit users with Ponto 5 Mini with up to 6dB more stable gain4.

Jes Olsen, President Oticon Medical, has followed the development of the OpenSound Optimizer closely and comments: “It has taken years for us to develop a technology that can prevent feedback without decreasing gain and reducing the dynamics of sound. With the OpenSound Optimizer technology we now have the solution, and the result is to the benefit of all users.”

In addition to its advanced sound processing technology, all aspects of Ponto 5 Mini have been designed to make life easier for users – including fitting. We now introduce the easy-to-use Oticon RemoteCare platform where follow-up appointments, adjustments and upgrades can be carried out remotely.

As you would expect from a sound processor as advanced as the Ponto 5 Mini, it is also designed for the digital world with accessories, apps, and built-in technology to help users stay connected.

With the Ponto 5 Mini, Oticon Medical continues to offer the world’s smallest and most discreet bone anchored sound processor available. Despite its tiny size, Ponto 5 Mini delivers the state-of-the-art reliability, durability and product quality that have become synonymous with Ponto.

1 O’Sullivan, et al (2019). Hierarchical Encoding of Attended Auditory Objects in Multi-talker Speech Perception. Neuron, 104(6), 1195-1209.
2 Puvvada, K. C. et al. (2017). Cortical representations of speech in a multitalker auditory scene. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(38), 9189-9196.
3 Manuscript in preparation, Data on File - Clinical study BC102
4 Data on file at Oticon Medical

*Increased speech understanding with OpenSound Navigator ON measured as a percentage relative to the baseline with OpenSound Navigator OFF.

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On 5 October 2021, EPOS unleashed the next generation, top-of-the-range H6PRO CLOSED and H6PRO OPEN acoustic gaming headsets. The launch marked yet another leap in the history of EPOS to provide state-of-the-art technology and supreme sound for gamers all around the world.

The H6PRO Series delivers natural and expansive high-fidelity audio for the gaming experience - in both open and closed acoustic variants. It is characterized by powerful sound but also includes features such as intuitive, detachable boom arms, long-lasting comfort and use of durable materials. H6PRO series unlocks “The Power of Audio” for a wide range of gaming experiences.

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In October, Oticon Medical announced the launch of the innovative MONO procedure that allows surgeons to perform the complete osteotomy for bone anchored implants with just one drilling step.
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The MONO procedure is a minimally invasive procedure where the implant in a bone anchored hearing system is attached to the skull. The implant then connects to a sound processor through the skin via an abutment. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic, which saves on valuable resources in the operating room. Furthermore, the small incision required eliminates the need for sutures, which reduces scarring and numbness and improves cosmetic outcomes for patients.

Research shows that a minimally invasive procedure reduces both hospital costs and procedure time. By reducing the drilling steps required during surgery to just one, the MONO procedure is expected to further increase these savings and improve clinical efficiency.

Dr Thibaud Dumon, Otorhinolaryngologist from Clinique du Docteur Jean Causse in Colombiers, France, uses the MONO procedure and comments, “The new minimally invasive MONO procedure is efficient for both me and my patients, and leaves the patient with no scars or suturing.”

“At Oticon Medical, we are driven to continuously challenge convention,” adds Jes Olsen, President of Oticon Medical. “The MONO procedure is the world’s first BAHS procedure with single-step drilling. By making the surgical process more clinically efficient, we want to enable more people to enjoy the benefits of a bone anchored hearing solution.” 

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Towards the end of 2021, William Demant Foundation, the majority owner of Demant, donated DKK 3.5 million (US$ 530,000) to UNICEF and the ACT-A programme. 

The ACT-A programme (The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator) is a global collaboration that seeks to accelerate fair access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. 

With William Demant Foundation being founded on care, and with the world health as its key sustainable goal, it was important for the Foundation to support UNICEFS fight for ending the coronavirus crisis. 

“With our donation, we want to take part in easing the situation for children, families and healthcare workers in vulnerable communities, and do our part in getting the world back on its feet,” said Chairman Lars Nørby, William Demant Foundation. 

The donation, which is directed at UNICEF as the lead implementation partner of ACT-A, aims to help low-income areas with:

  • In-country delivery of coronavirus vaccines
  • Diagnostic tests and related technical assistance
  • Oxygen systems and novel and repurposed therapeutics
  • Personal protective equipment and supplies for front-line healthcare workers to work safely
  • Risk communication and community engagement to promote the COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments
 
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In 2021, Demant joined the Science Based Targets initiative, thereby committing to set ambitious climate targets for a future with reduced global warming. For Demant, this means significantly reducing carbon emissions and targeting net-zero emissions.

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The commitment to Science Based Targets initiative is part of an overall aim for Demant to lead a business existing in harmony with the environment and local communities.
 
By joining the Science Based Targets initiative, Demant gets a clearly defined route to future-proof progress and reduction of carbon emissions. 
Despite being a growth-company, Demant has been successful in reducing emissions per employee and intend to maintain this development. Demant has since 2010 tracked direct and indirect emissions from its own operations, such as electricity use and company fleet. 
 
Demant estimates that around 90% of the company’s emissions come from the extended value chain. As a result, the transition towards a zero-carbon footprint will rely heavily on partnerships, and the level of engagement and motivation from the company’s suppliers.
 
Within 24 months of pleading to the commitment, Demant will develop targets for validation of Science Based Targets initiative and expects to do so during 2022. The final deadline is August 2023. 
 
In this relation, CEO of Demant said: “I am positive that this approach will benefit Demant in a multitude of ways. It will help us build a more resilient business and strengthen collaboration with suppliers and partners and, equally as important, spur innovative thinking.”
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During 2021, Demant’s Hearing Care retail business, Audika Group, has continued to expand their global network of clinics through acquisitions. This has resulted in the investment in or take-over of more than 200 stores during the year. The expansions have primarily been on markets such as the US, Canada, France and Spain as well as new ventures in Germany.

 
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In December 2021, Audika entered the German hearing care retail market by acquiring the chain Kerstin Ritter Hörgeräte, which holds a strong regional position in the Southwestern part of Germany with 18 shops and a strong local network to key hearing healthcare stakeholders. Ritter serves as good starting point for a further expansion in the German hearing care retail market.

Audika Group’s broad presence in many significant markets is part of building up and sustaining Audika’s market-leading position. Over the past 25 years, Audika has been on a significant growth journey, and today, the company is present in more than 20 countries, has surpassed more than 2,600 full-time clinics and employs more than 8,000 people.

Audika will continue to build a profitable business both organically and through acquisitions to help more people hear better and deliver on their customer promise of being the “Modern Hearing Care Expert”.

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Oticon MyMusic, a dedicated music program tailor-made to help people with hearing loss rediscover their love of music, has been named a CES® 2022 Innovation Awards Honouree in the highly competitive Software and Mobile Apps category. The international awards program recognises innovative design and engineering in some of the world’s most cutting-edge consumer technology products and services.


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Oticon MyMusic overcomes one of the toughest challenges for hearing aids, delivering excellent music sound quality, whether it’s live music or streamed directly from a device. The music-oriented signal processing program captures the complex dynamics of music much better than attempting to apply ordinary speech processing strategies to music.

Thomas Behrens, Chief of Audiology, Oticon comments: “With MyMusic, we are bringing music to life and are extremely proud to have overcome this notorious challenge for the benefit of hearing aid users in the family of our most recent hearing aids, Oticon More. Now, more clients can truly experience the joy of music again. We are delighted to have our team’s dedication to evolving hearing technology recognised by the prestigious CES awards panel, and to stand out in such a vast category makes it even more gratifying.”

Oticon MyMusic uses a new strategy for amplification based on independent research on how to balance different sounds for music listening and research on how the music experience can be improved for hearing aid users. Processing is performed in both 4 and 24 channels simultaneously, which allows details to be preserved no matter the signal type, and at the same time ensure the overall balance of the music is optimised. There is more amplification in the highest and lowest frequencies delivering better balance across frequencies. This ensures that differences between softer and louder components in music are preserved and natural dynamics are maintained.