COPENHAGEN—Three scientists from Widex A/S, a prominent Danish-based hearing aid manufacturer, were announced yesterday (June 14) as winners of the sixth annual European Inventor Awards. Presented by the European Patent Office, these prestigious honors recognize outstanding inventors for their contributions to social, economic, and technological progress.
Jan Tøpholm, Søren Westermann, and Svend Vitting Andersen were honored in the industry category for their invention of CAMISHA, a Widex-patented process that has revolutionized the manufacture of hearing aids worldwide.
The award winners, who were selected from among 200 nominees, were announced during a ceremony at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen. Attendees included the Danish Crown Prince and Princess and some 350 other guests, among them government officials from countries all over Europe, leading scientists, and economists.
AN INDUSTRY-CHANGING INVENTION
CAMISHA is an acronym for Computer Aided Manufacturing of Individual Shells for Hearing Aids. It uses laser technology to make an impression of the patient’s ear canal and turns these data into a three-dimensional computer model. This is then used as a basis for manufacturing individual shells and earmolds that will fit the user’s ear canal exactly.
CAMISHA is credited with greatly increasing the comfort of in-the-canal hearing aids by allowing the manufacture of shells that are not only smaller and more discreet than those in the past, but that also fit the shape of the ear better. It has also made the manufacturing process easier and more precise.
The Widex-patented technology is licensed to all major hearing aid manufacturers and ear labs, and has changed how shells and earmolds are made across the entire industry.
Tøpholm, who is CEO of Widex A/S, said, “In the past, the manufacturing process was very cumbersome. Our CAMISHA technology has become the dominant way of making shells and earmolds.”
Westermann is executive vice-president for auditory research at Widex and Andersen is owner of Pallas Informatik.
For a video of the presentation to the Widex team, go to YouTube.
“21ST CENTURY HEROES”
During this week’s announcement ceremony, Benoît Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office, said, “Innovation is a primary force for economic growth. It secures jobs and benefits society as a whole. But behind every innovation there are individual men and women, driven by the urge to discover and the impulse to ‘make it new.’ Inventors are the true heroes of the 21st century.”
The Danish economic minister, Ole Sohn, stated, “Here in Denmark we refer to the European Inventor Award as the ‘Oscar’ of the patent world. Inventors are the drivers behind innovation. We need to encourage economic growth, and knowledge is the raw material at their disposal.”