With more than 700,000[i] Kiwis affected by hearing loss, hearing aid manufacturer Oticon
is urging people to take action this World Hearing Day (3rd March), calling for Kiwis to take charge of their health
and acknowledge the widespread impact hearing loss can have on everyday lives.
World Hearing Day marks the release of the yearly World Health Organization (WHO) Report on Hearing which presents
critical data underlining the number of people suffering from hearing loss, many without treating it.
Current WHO data shows that only 17 per cent[ii] of those who could benefit from wearing a hearing aid actually use one.
Globally, 466 million people suffer from disabling hearing loss with the World Health Organization (WHO) predicting this
number to grow to over 900 million by 2050[iii].
Addressing hearing loss is crucial for life quality – numerous studies show that living with hearing loss can markedly
increase the risk of health problems which are both a cause and effect of not living an active social life.
Corey Ackerman, Oticon New Zealand, said, “The earlier hearing loss is detected and treated, the less impact it can have
on a person’s life. The ability to communicate well and feel confident in social environments is vital to keep people
leading an active life, which has significant benefits for health and wellbeing.”
Oticon More, a world first hearing aid, trained with 12 million real-life sound scenes, has arrived in New Zealand. This new device,
equipped with groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI), was developed after research revealed people with hearing
loss need access to all sounds for their brains to work in a natural way.
“Most people think we hear with our ears, but our brains are actually our main tool for hearing. Oticon More uses AI
technology, a Deep Neural Network, to help the brain hear sound in a natural and effective way.
“Traditional hearing aids can block out vital surrounding sound, but Oticon More scans and analyses a sound scene at 500
times per second allowing the brain to process key sounds, such as someone else speaking or a bird chirping, even in a
noisy, crowded environment,” says Ackerman
Oticon More uses one of the most advanced technologies on its new hearing aid platform, a Deep Neural Network which has
been trained with 12 million everyday-life sound scenes.
As a result, the hearing aid has learned to recognise all the varying types of sounds, their details and how they should
“When you limit what you can hear to just a single person speaking, which many hearing aids do, your brain is forced to
work harder in an unnatural way, and you can be cut off from other conversations around you.
“By helping the brain to process sound in a natural way, we can better help reduce the health and life problems
associated with untreated hearing loss,” says Ackerman.
The device, which can be linked to compatible smartphones, also allows users to directly stream music and phone calls
into their ears and even connects to the TV, computer and smart home devices with the use of additional accessories.
Compared with previous generation hearing aids Oticon More offers a clearer and more distinct contrast between sounds,
something that conventional technology has never before been able to deliver.
“Hearing loss often forces people to avoid situations with too much noise, but Oticon’s progress in the use of AI is a
quantum leap in creating natural, clear, complete and balanced sounds. We hope this advancing sonic technology will
deliver greater freedom for many,” says Ackerman.
Pricing is dependent on individual needs and can be discussed with your registered audiological provider.
A free online hearing test
is available on the Oticon website
for anyone that would like to take the first important steps.
500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The majority are over the age of 50 while eight percent are under
the age of 18. Oticon's vision is to create a world where people are no longer limited by hearing loss. A world where
hearing aids fit seamlessly into life and help people realise their full potential, while avoiding the health
consequences of hearing loss. Oticon develops and manufactures hearing aids for both adults and children and supports
every kind of hearing loss from mild to profound and we pride ourselves on developing some of the most innovative
hearing aids in the market. Headquartered in Denmark, we are a global company and part of Demant with more than 15,000
employees and revenues of over DKK 14 billion. Changing technology. Changing conventions. Changing lives. Oticon –
Life-changing hearing technology. www.oticon.global