US Ear Device Patents for January 2020

Route 66 

 

Standard hearing aid treatment protocol follows a fitting and follow-up route of periodic in-office visit to adjust and tune instruments. In early stages, this usually means gradual optimization as patients accommodate to amplification. In subsequent years, it also means monitoring and adjusting for further decreases in patients’ hearing sensitivity and speech recognition.  The price of hearing aids typically includes audiology services bundled in. Hence, hearing aid prices are high but include an incentive for patients to return for needed, pre-paid services.

None of the above is news to hearing healthcare professionals. It’s the way we earn our living wage, which lends inertia to efforts to improve the method through automation of some or all service component of hearing aid fittings. Our pricing and visit protocols haven’t changed substantially in decades. We’re a bit like comfortable, familiar stops along the old Route 66 of hearing healthcare. 

 

The Automated Highway

 

OTCs, PSAPs DTC and SFHAs have entered the hearing aid mix, though not through the front doors of audiology dispensing practices. They are bringing technological advances which continue to explore means of streamlining or even eliminating mileposts along the fitting and follow-up route, carving out exits from Route 66 to a new streamline freeway of hearing care access.

A case in point is IBM’s patent #10540994, Personal device for hearing degradation monitoring. Here’s the reasoning, paraphrased from the patent:

“Because hearing loss is highly personal, traditional hearing aid devices can require special adjustment from time to time… tuning the hearing aid can be time consuming and expensive, and proper adjustment may be difficult. Additionally, people who have hearing loss may not know how severe their loss is, or how it progresses over time. Thus, a user of the hearing aid may not know that the tuning should be performed.”

IBM’s patent lets hearing aid wearers know when tuning is needed and, from the sounds of it, may make the “difficult, proper adjustment” as needed as well. This is one example of various patent efforts by various firms of all sizes to take SFHAs to the next milepost and beyond, following a consumer highway that largely bypasses traditional audiology’s Route 66 approach.

 

The January 2020 List

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Ear canal irrigation system and method

10525191

Applicant: Ackerman, Christopher (Keyport, NJ)

1/07/2020

Atraumatic vestibular stimulation and measuring electrode

10525259

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

 

1/07/2020

Impulse noise management

10525265

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/07/2020

Charging-induced implant operation

10525271

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/07/2020

Hearing impaired driver detection and assistance system

10525880

GM Global Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, MI)

1/07/2020

Multi-loop implant charger

10530177

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/07/2020

Reconfigurable switched capacitor DC-DC converter for head-wearable hearing devices

10530248

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

 

1/07/2020

Apparatus, system, and method for tragus conduction hearable device

10531173

Facebook Technologies LLC (Menlo Park, CA)

 

1/07/2020

Headphone system with detachable earbud speakers

10531175

Remarkable Technologies Inc (Avon, CT)

1/07/2020

Ear cup with attachment unit

10531177

Sennheiser Communications A/S (Ballerup, DK)

1/07/2020

System and method for optimizing battery usage for a binaural hearing system

10531205

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

 

1/07/2020

Sliding bias and peak limiting for optical hearing devices

10531206

Earlens Corporation (Menlo Park, CA)

   1/07/2020

Speech processor headpiece

10531207

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

1/07/2020

Customization of bone conduction hearing devices

10531208

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/07/2020

Residual syncing of sound with light to produce a starter sound at live and latent events

10531209

International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY)

 

1/07/2020

Binaural synthesis

10531217

Facebook Inc (Menlo Park, CA)

1/07/2020

Hearing aid

D872280

Xiamen Retone Hearing Technology Co Ltd (Fujian, CN)

1/07/2020

Ear cleaner

10531986

Quest Products LLC (Pleasant Prairie, WI)

1/14/2020

Method for apparatus for sample rate conversion with unknown input and output clocks

10534573

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

 

1/14/2020

Voice activity detection using air conduction and bone conduction microphones

10535364

Amazon Technologies Inc (Seattle, WA)

 

1/14/2020

Integrating wax guards into earphone ear tips

10536764

Bose Corporation (Framingham, MA)

1/14/2020

Auditory signal processor using spiking neural network and stimulus reconstruction with top-down attention control

10536775

Trustees of Boston University (Boston, MA)

 

1/14/2020

External ear insert for hearing enhancement

10536782

Applicant: Kah, Jr, Carl L.C. (North Palm Beach, FL)

1/14/2020

Technique for directing audio in augmented reality system

10536783

Magic Leap Inc (Plantation, FL)

1/14/2020

Hearing device with an earpiece and method for controlling a hearing device

10536784

Sivantos PTE Ltd (Singapore, SG)

 

1/14/2020

Hearing device and method with intelligent steering

10536785

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

1/14/2020

Configuration of feedback cancelation for hearing aids

10536787

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie MN)

1/14/2020

Hearing aid, in particular behind-the-ear hearing assistance aid

10536788

Sivantos PTE Ltd (Singapore, SG)

1/14/2020

Automated assessment and adjustment of tinnitus-masker impact on speech intelligibility during use

10537268

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie MN)

1/21/2020

Cochlear implant electrode assembly insertion tool

10537708

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/21/2020

Electrode selection

10537739

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/21/2020

Implant infection control

10537743

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/21/2020

Wearable sound system with configurable privacy modes

10540138

Harman International Industries Inc (Stamford, CT)

1/21/2020

Somatic, auditory and cochlear communication system and method

10540989

Somatek (San Diego, CA)

 

1/21/2020

Personal device for hearing degradation monitoring

10540994

International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY)

1/21/2020

Flanged earbud and hearing device including same

10542341

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie MN)

1/21/2020

Observer-based cancellation system for implantable hearing instruments

10542350

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

 

1/21/2020

Coupling apparatuses for transcutaneous bone conduction devices

10542351

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

 

1/21/2020

Hearing aid device unit along a single curved axis

10542352

Oticon Medical A/S (Smorum, DK)

1/21/2020

Hearing aid with assisted noise suppression

10542353

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

1/21/2020

Hearing device with suppression of comb filtering effect

10542354

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

1/21/2020

Hearing and system

10542355

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

1/21/2020

Multiple arm dipole antenna for hearing instrument

10542356

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

1/21/2020

Earpiece with canal microphone, ambient microphone and receiver

10542358

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

 

   1/21/2020

Hearing device

10542359

Sivantos PTE Ltd (Singapore, SG)

1/21/2020

Cartridge for an electrode array insertion device

10543125

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

1/28/2020

Antennas for use with transcutaneously powered medical implants

10543369

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

 

1/28/2020

Systems and methods for alerting auditory prosthesis recipient

10543371

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

 

1/28/2020

External ear insert for hearing comprehension enhancement

10546570

Applicant: Kah, Jr, Carl L.C. (North Palm Beach, FL)

1/28/2020

Method of operating a hearing aid, and hearing aid

10547956

Sivantos PTE Ltd (Singapore, SG)

1/28/2020

Hearing aid antenna for high-frequency data communication

10547957

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie MN)

1/28/2020

Methods and systems for designing and applying numerically optimized binaural room impulse responses

10547963

Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation (San Francisco, CA

 

1/28/2020

Hearing assistance device

D874008

Nuance Hearing Ltd (Tel Aviv, IL)

1/28/2020

Hearing protector

D874065

3M Innovative Properties Company (St. Paul, MN)

1/28/2020

 

Holly Hosford-Dunn, Hearing Health MattersHolly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, owned and operated a dispensing audiology practice in Tucson and was active in management of HearingHealthMatters.org through 2017.  She holds BA degrees in Communication Sciences, Psychology and Economics; MA in Communication Disorders; PhD in Hearing Sciences. Following post-doctoral work at Max Planck Institute (Munich, DE) and Eaton-Peabody Auditory Physiology Lab (Boston), she joined the Stanford medical school faculty as director of audiology. She has authored/edited numerous text books, chapters, journals, and articles and taught Marketing and Practice Management in a variety of academic settings. She continues to consult and write on topics related to hearing health care vis-à-vis consumer demands, professional training, technological advancement, capital investment, industry consolidation, regulatory control, product and service distribution, and strategic pricing

 

*feature image courtesy of experiencewillaims.com


About HHTM

HHTM's mission is to bridge the knowledge gaps in treating hearing loss by providing timely information and lively insights to anyone who cares about hearing loss. Our contributors and readers are drawn from many sectors of the hearing field, including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and, importantly, hearing-impaired consumers and those who love them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.