Australian company Nuheara announced this week it has achieved a “breakthrough world first”, after being selected by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to provide the agency’s hearing solutions for adults and children with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The UK’s NHS provides free healthcare to domestic residents and subsidizes hearing aids for many British citizens. At the current time, the NHS supplies 75% of all the country’s hearing aids, making it the largest sole buyer of such products in the UK.
According to reports in the Australian business press, the agreement between Nuheara and the NHS marks a milestone for the publicly-listed company. Nuheara’s hearing device – IQbuds BOOST – was selected by the NHS as a smart hearing bud to be prescribed alongside traditional hearing aids, expected to be offered to thousands of patients over the next 2-4 years, as stipulated by the newly-signed contract.
In a statement, Nuheara said that the tender application was submitted in partnership with Nuheara’s UK-based hearing healthcare distributor, Puretone – the company that will ultimately be tasked with supplying IQbuds BOOST to the NHS and providing ongoing product support over the length of the contract.
Headquartered in Kent, United Kingdom, Puretone is a hearing aid distributor that operates in 48 countries and supports over 11,000 independent hearing clinics.
In addition, Nuheara has also extended its reach into Ireland, another major market for hearing aids. Just last week, Nuheara confirmed it had struck a deal with Irish company ‘Hidden Hearing’ which allows its IQbuds BOOST product to be made available in 61 Irish clinics by December 1, 2018.
Based on a September, 2018 report, Nuheara supplies IQbuds BOOST into the US via ADCO Medical and has seen the product classified as an Assisted Listening Device (ALD) by Australian government’s Hearing Services Program (HSP) earlier this year, which meant the hearing aid would be made available to Australian residents.
According to the terms of the deal, Nuheara will begin supplying its IQbuds product from April next year for an initial 2-year period with the deal potentially being extended through to 2023.