Australian audio device maker, Nuheara, announced this week that it has been approved as a registered provider (Registration ID: 4-433C-4667) to Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), effective immediately. According to media reports, shares of the company’s stock jumped 18% following the announcement.
Nuheara’s complete product range, which can be purchased using NDIS approved funding, will be available under the Hearing Equipment category with the intention to support people with Autism.
The NDIS product approval process can be instigated directly from Nuheara’s website via an automated quotation process for NDIS plan managers or self-managers.
NDIS and Assistive Technologies
The NDIS, a new way of providing support to Australians with a disability, their families and carers is growing and changing the Assistive Technology (AT) market. Approximately 3% of funds expended in the financial year 2016–17 were for AT. Participants can buy a wide range of AT products and services with their NDIS budget, giving them choice and purchasing power.
According to Australian Autism peak body Amaze, Autism continues to be the largest diagnostic group within the NDIS, with 29% of all participants identifying as autistic.
People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD or Autism) often show difficulties with auditory processing. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a common secondary diagnosis for people with Autism.
“Since inception, we have had anecdotal evidence to suggest that Nuheara’s products would support people on the autism spectrum. Being listed on the NDIS places Nuheara at the centre of hearing health care beyond mild hearing loss. Our multifunctional products are supporting complex conditions that now allow us to expand to a much wider market than the traditional hearing aid/device industry. We always wanted to expand our market scope but wanted to ensure this would be based on evidence-driven findings. Our preliminary results from an Autism study commissioned last year with the University of Melbourne have been positive.”
–Justin Miller, Nuheara CEO
The Centre for Auditory Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne has provided a preliminary report into its findings on the use of IQBuds BOOST™ and children with Autism. It noted that while the subject numbers were small, there was a significant improvement in auditory attention obtained. The ability to concentrate in background noise has been identified as a key factor influencing academic progress for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Ashburner et al. 2008), and as such, was an encouraging result.
“The fact that Nuheara’s products are now available as part of the NDIS – for children and adults – is an important step in this market expansion.”
“It dramatically expands our reach beyond traditional hearing loss and further validates Nuheara’s decision to only develop and market products that focus on disrupting the global hearing healthcare market.”
Nuheara Divests Mining Assets to Focus on Audio
Last week, Nuheara announced that it had entered into a Mining Concessions Transfer Agreement for the sale of its mining concessions in southern Peru. The mining concessions are held by Nuheara’s wholly owned subsidiary, Wild Acre Metals (Peru) SAC.
Under the Transfer Agreement entered with Corisur Peru SAC, Corisur will pay US$250,000 for the transfer of the concessions upon recording of the Transfer Agreement with the Peruvian Public Registry.
“The sale of the mining concessions to Corisur continues Nuheara’s previously disclosed strategy of divesting mining assets to focus on the Company’s core business model in the hearing health space. Realising capital from the sale of these interests provides additional Capacity to the company’s treasury which, in addition to the Company’s recent successful capital raise, will support the development of IQbuds MAXTM, on track for production later this year, and additional marketing efforts in support of the Company’s sales strategy realignment.”
–Jean-Marie Rudd, Nuheara CFO
Readers may recall as part of the failed acquisition bid earlier this year, Samsung subsidiary Harman had requested the company divest of its mining assets as a condition of sale.
Nuheara’s remaining portfolio of mining assets consists of Net Smelter Royalties located in Northern Peru and Western Australia. These interests are actively being marketed for sale and the company says it intends to dispose of those interests as soon as it is commercially practical to do so.
Source: Nuheara; featured image credit Nuheara, Project Life Change