2019 proved to be a busy year in hearing healthcare. Industry developments, advances in research, innovative and disruptive technologies were among several of this year’s list of ‘most read’ stories of the year at Hearing News Watch.
Below we highlight the Top 10 Most Read stories of 2019.
Top 10 Hearing News Stories of 2019:
- CVS to Completely Shut Down Hearing Business Across the US. In a move that surprised consumers and professionals alike, CVS announced in February 2019 that it would completely shut down its hearing business across the US. The move came barely two years after the company had announced aggressive plans to scale their hearing business nationwide. HHTM’s reporting was picked up by national news outlets, including CNBC.
- New Trial Raising Hope for Development of First Drug to Restore Hearing. Researchers at UCLH’s Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and UCL Ear Institute are leading a drug trial aimed at regenerating the sensory receptors (hair cells) in the inner ear.
- Lively Officially Launches Direct to Consumer Audiology Telehealth Platform. In January 2019, venture-backed Lively made a big splash by announcing it was going to sell hearing aids direct to consumers, with ongoing telehealth support as part of purchase.
- Apple Unveils New Apps and Upgrades Geared Toward Persons with Hearing Loss. At Apple’s developer conference in June 2019, Apple announced new hearing health features and upgrades.
- Reprogramming Inner Ear to Regrow Lost Hair Cells? New Discovery Holds Promise for Future Hearing Loss Treatments. Scientists reported a new strategy to induce cell division in the mature inner ear. With this pathway, researchres were able to reprogram the inner ear’s cells to proliferate and regenerate hair-cell-like cells in adult mice.
- Demant Announces Launch of Philips Hearing Aids. Demant announced the global launch of Philips branded hearing aids in April 2019.
- Google Unveils Two New Android Apps to Help People with Hearing Loss. The Live Transcribe app gives persons with hearing loss text-to-speech capabilities, thus providing real-time captions for conversations that scroll on the Android users’ phones. The second, Sound Amplifier, requires users wear headphones, and amplifies the volume of incoming speech and music.
- Hearing Loss in Middle Age Doubles Risk of Dementia: Study. Hearing loss in middle age was found to be associated with higher odds of cognitive decline and dementia later in life, according to a large study conducted in Taiwan published in JAMA Network Open on July 31st.
- UnitedHealthcare Launches UnitedHealthcare Hearing to Meet Hearing Health Needs of Consumers. After acquiring EPIC from Sonova in 2018, UnitedHealthcare announced the launch of its hearing division in June 2019.
- Frequency Therapeutics Announces Positive Phase 1/2 Trial Results for Hearing Restoration Drug. In April 2019, the company announced positive results of its Phase 1/2 trial. The company also announced an IPO in October, raising over $80M to help fund completion of Phase 2a trial of FX-322, the company’s regenerative therapeutic for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss.