Despite many improvements and innovations in improving the moisture-resistance of hearing devices, such as nanocoating and improved case sealing, moisture issues still remain a significant cause of hearing device malfunction for hearing aid and cochlear implant users.
In this week’s Technology Spotlight, host Dr. Bob Traynor speaks with Matt Hay, director of audiology sales for Redux, and Dr. Al Turri, the Director of Audiology for The Villages in central Florida.
They discuss how the Redux technology works to restore hearing aids and other electronic devices, and how this can be used in a professional setting to enhance and elevate the patient experience, as well as how it can benefit the practice by reducing admin time and clinic time.
Bob Traynor 0:09
Welcome to This Week in Hearing where listeners find the latest information on all things related to hearing care, everything from politics to hearing care legislation, device technology, pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, all the way into the latest trends in practice management. today. I’m your host, Bob Traynor for this particular session, where we’re talking about the Redux product, which is a device that restores hearing aids. And today my guests are Matt Hay, who is the Director of Sales at Redux, and Al Turri, who is the person that is the Director of Audiology for The Villages, probably one of the more desirable places in the world these days because of the lack of COVID, and all kinds of things that go along with that. But anyway, so and our topic today is to talk about drying, hearing, hearing instrument products. And first, I’d like to love to ask Matt to tell us a little bit about Redux. And what it really is,
Matt Hay 1:15
yeah, so I think everybody that anybody that has worked in hearing care or worn hearing aids, or even morning air pods, probably understands that at some point, they start to get crackly, they don’t work very well. There are a lot of at-home dryers that I hope everybody uses. I hope people put their hearing instruments in at home dryers every night. But it doesn’t stop the fact that moisture is the leading cause of hearing aid malfunction. So those at home dryers are maybe helping a little bit. They’re not solving the problem. So what Redux is, is a new technology where it’s a box about the size of a shoebox that uses vacuum chamber technology. To create a vacuum, lower the evaporation point of water, we add heat to a hearing aid inside that box. And we can remove all of the moisture. And we know that we can remove all of it because we have an internal humidity sensor that shows to the microliter exactly how much moisture is coming out that entire process takes about eight minutes. So this is designed for a hearing care professional to have as an in Office Professional system. If think of an at home dryers like your Maytag washer or dryer. This is a dry cleaning service. You know it’s a professional service that you go to to have your hearing care professional, help make your hearing aids work
Bob Traynor 2:25
So where did this thing come from? Matt? I mean, one minute, we have little dry aid kits and the next minute we have a device that actually just sucks all the water out of the out of the hearing instruments that we were we have trouble
Matt Hay 2:40
right? I think it’s not much different than one minute you have horses and the next thing you have automobiles now it’s just the the beauty of technology. Our business has been around for over a decade, we’re in several thousand Verizon Wireless stores, our technology was developed to remove moisture safely from lithium ion powered rechargeable cell phones. As we got better and smarter and expanded our footprint across really North America. In Verizon, we’re going to look around about where else is this technology going to be helpful at scale? Where can we help millions of people because you know, we’re all businessmen, if you want, if you want to have a level of success, you need to be able to help tens of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of people, not just your neighbor. So we look and realize that, hey, there’s a lot of the technology they’re using in rechargeable power and cell phones we’re starting to see in hearing aids. But unlike a phone, which you usually keep in your pocket, you think about where you keep your hearing aid in your ear at 98.6 degrees, surrounded by skin that is designed to release moisture. And you can make a case that the worst place to keep your hearing aid anywhere is probably in your ear. And I think anybody that like said there’s worn aids or work with them understands that moisture is a problem is just in the past. We haven’t there hasn’t been a solution to that. So that’s one of the reasons it’s so exciting to work with Redux is it’s not common, you have the opportunity to bring a solution to let’s such a large problem.
Bob Traynor 4:03
Well, so now I would imagine as a director of Audiology in a place, like The Villages, there’s a lot of that you see a lot of humidity and a lot of instrumentation that may have a lot of moisture related problems. So how did you begin using the Redux device? Well,
Al Turri 4:23
let’s go before Redux for just a second that matters solution before Redux is your box it up and you send it to them? And you send it to the to the manufacturer? Right. I can’t tell you how much time that saving is. But how did I get introduced to it? I’m a member of Entheos, and at some point, Matt gave a talk at one of our owners meetings. And I was just impressed with his story. I was impressed with the technology, how it made the leap from cell phones to to hearing aids, it just made perfect sense, because we have all those components in hearing aids. I’m an early adopter for the most part. I’ve got a few pieces of equipment I’ll never use again that I bought because I am an early adopter. But but not the Redux, I use this thing, you know, hundreds of times a week. Now, you know, I shouldn’t say a week but a month for sure. So I ordered one ordered, actually, yeah, I ordered one. And now we have Matt, how many do we have eight or seven, I forget, we want to put in, we want to put one in every location that we have. So it must be seven, because our eighth location doesn’t open until September. So I’ll be needing. I’m gonna need another one man, pretty soon.
Matt Hay 5:25
I can make I can work that out for you. Great. Well, I’m well, that’s how it came to be. Um, I just
Bob Traynor 5:32
don’t know, I was just gonna say didn’t mean to interrupt your fabulous thing that you were just going to tell us. But one of the questions that we had set up was to, to talk about the benefits that is really provided for your various practices around the Villages.
Al Turri 5:50
Yeah, absolutely happy to address that. So we’ve had moisture issues, right, patients have gotten dry aid kits. We’ve had various versions of vacuums, you know, and things like that here. But we still sent hundreds of hearing aids a year in for repair, people jump in the pool, they sweat like crazy on the golf course, they take a shower, just things we couldn’t fix, you still had distortion, things like that. So the biggest advantage for us is the fact that we can now routinely patients come in every four months for routine maintenance with our program. And now we add that to our cleaning check. It doesn’t take the provider any more time, you know, the support staff put it in put it in the Redux, they take it out print the report, the patient is ecstatic, right? Because they got this fancy report to show them why you had 1.2 microliters of moisture in your hearing it and now it’s gone. So the first benefit is, is it’s reducing the amount of hearing aids we have to send out for repairs, which even if they’re in warranty and still caught, I bet you we probably spend 24 minutes between the admin stuff and receiving stuff for every repair that we do. So it’s saving us a ton of repair time, a ton of admin time. Secondly, it’s a value add for our patients that now see us going to even a higher length or a higher level of white glove service they weren’t getting before. And then thirdly, I think it opens up the opportunity to get a younger crowd in there. You know, we’re gonna we’re gonna run an article soon that talks about air pods and, and and Bluetooth earpieces, and moisture. So I think I think it’s going to help us reach a younger crowd of patients as well, because of how unique it is. Does that answer your question?
Bob Traynor 7:32
Well, pretty much. The other thing when you’re talking about it saves a few minutes in packaging things up and so on. But my guess is it also saves some clinic time, because most clinics will provide loaners for their patients. And so you got to get the loaner. And then when the when the device goes back for repair, you have to retake the loaner back and then refit the device to ensure that it’s got the same things. So my guess is you probably have some time involved in those procedures as well.
Al Turri 8:01
Absolutely. Absolutely. I, I didn’t think about that. But you’re right. It definitely saves us a lot of time in that regard as well.
Bob Traynor 8:10
I mean, my guess is it probably saves. I mean, if it takes about a half hour to fit something that’s gonna take another half hour probably fit, fit it again. And so not only have you saved all the wrapping up and mailing kinds of frustration, but also the the refitting and so on that goes along with that. Absolutely. You’re right.
Matt Hay 8:30
There’s, there’s a cliche of, you know, I wish there were more hours in a day. And I think a lot of business owners feel that way. You know, and I’ll just mention hundreds of aids. So just for easy math, let’s say it’s only 100. And let’s say it only saves you an hour all in with each one of those aids that you don’t have to return. So we’ll forget about the fact that the patient benefits from it. Just think of it as time What if I could have a device that gave you 100 extra hours a year? You know, what the value of your time to have somebody sell a product that gives you 100 hours? That’s true. Very true.
Bob Traynor 9:05
So that now my understanding is that at one time, you can only lease the the Redux device. Now, I guess you can also purchase the device if you choose. And how many places do you have the Redux device
Matt Hay 9:22
actually operating? So we I think we just added our 42nd state. So 42 states, seven countries across three continents. And I take a lot of pride in the fact that we grew that during it. And I don’t know if you guys have been looking at the news for the last year or so. But it wasn’t the best time in the world to launch an in office medical device. So that growth we’ve seen occurred despite what were some pretty significant environmental challenges, and we’re adding new practices every day. You know, we you mentioned the lease and you’re right. I think one of the things I tried to be very open to is admitting when I’m wrong or finding ways to Improve. And when we initially initially launched Redux within audiology, it was a rental only program. And there were some people that embraced that I know Al embraced that. There were some other folks that said, You know, I don’t want another lease, or maybe they work in a hospital where they don’t do leases. So we looked at our business and said, What does it matter? To me, our goal is to improve hearing aids. So what do we need to do to get more of these out in the world to improve hearing aids so people can hear better communicate better live better, so I don’t care if you lease it, or rent it. So we now have the option to rent at a low price each month, at the end of 24 months, you can rent again, you can buy it at a reduced rate and just keep the machine and own it outright. Or if upfront, you saying I don’t want to rent it out, we’ll sell one outright that way, as well. So we try to give practice owners the decision to add Redux in whatever way works best best for their business. Well, Matt,
Unknown Speaker 10:54
oops, go ahead. Go ahead.
Al Turri 10:56
I just had a question. I had a question about the purchase option after I think it’s one year, two years, I forget, where there’ll be an ongoing service contract or an ongoing warranty or a monthly maintenance fee for for using your cloud or your report writing features.
Matt Hay 11:11
So that’s a great question. If you rent it, it’s a 24 month commitment. And we do that because when you rent a system, you get free shipping, you get a two year warranty, you get free training, you get free marketing support. So we need a month, a 24 month commitment, because if you go month to month, it’s a losing proposition for us. So it’s a 24 month commitment, the end of that, so that 24 month is fully warranted. If something goes wrong, we can’t diagnose it over the phone, we’ll pay to take it back and send you a new one. Yes, it’s turnkey for you, if you decide to buy it, at the end of that 24 months, you get an additional one year warranty. So you’re essentially getting a three year warranty device you mentioned you’re running at 10 times a day, at that point, you know, you will have run it nearly 4000 times as you true it that I’m guessing you and your staff will have either figured out that this thing’s pretty sturdy, or if there’s a simple there’s a light flashing and you don’t know what that is 90% of the time you unplug it and plug it back in and it’s gonna be fine. If we update I think recently with as we reduced our runtime down to about eight minutes, we’ve recently lowered the temperature as we just get smarter with what we’re doing. Those updates are made remotely, you come in on a Monday morning, and you’ve got the new firmware version. So there’s a lot of different ways that we have tried to make this as easy. I mean, I get it, it’s a new product. It’s a new brand. It’s a new category in audiology. And and there’s a there’s kind of a belief that if your name is not Oticon, or Phonak or Starkey, or Resound, that you are here to make a quick buck and move on. I’ve been deaf for 20 years, I’m going to be deaf the rest of my life. I’m only committed to helping people hear better I have no interest. And nor does anyone else in in our office have any interest in selling you something that you’re not going to be using to improve lives for the next 20 years.
Bob Traynor 12:58
I was impressed with with what you just said, Matt, that, because when when I remember talking to you back last fall, and the the runtime was 14 minutes. Now it’s down to eight minutes. That’s significant. Probably saves, saves you guys a little bit of time to Al I would think
Al Turri 13:18
I was not complaining to 12 to 15 minutes, but the eight minutes definitely speeds it up for sure.
Matt Hay 13:26
And I did a funny kind of behind a peek behind the curtain of that the the at home dryer, you know, just a hot air fan that I got with my cochlear implant actually have an auditory brainstem implant, and its runtime was eight hours. And so when I started working with Redux and had something that was running about 12 to 14 minutes, and hearing care professionals are saying that takes way too long. Like we were 30 literally 32 times faster than the one that I have. And that takes too long. But again, we don’t have an ego about this, we we want to make it work in practice. And we realized some, you know Al might only be scheduling 15 minutes for a patient. But it takes 12 minutes to dry in a that just ate up all this time. So we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the device.
Bob Traynor 14:11
Well, as we kind of wind down our discussion here guys, would you have some some other comments for the people that tuned in today as well? Yeah, I’m
Al Turri 14:20
happy to share my infatuation with this machine. I I’ve been doing this 21 years and I like I said I’m an early adopter. I’ll try just about anything as long as it’s legal. It doesn’t hurt can’t hurt you right and, and sometimes you hit a home run with this stuff, and sometimes you don’t. And Matt, I got to tell you the satisfaction of not having to put not having to send a patient away without their units or going through the hassle of putting loaners on him. It feels good for me but the patient to surpass their expectation. They come in feeling stupid man. I can’t believe I wore ’em in the pool. I can’t believe I jumped in the shower. I know I know. This is fried. There’s nothing you can do. But I thought I’d you know, I just please, what can you do just to see their gratitude and how lost they are without their devices, that we can give it back to them in 12 minutes or less. I mean, it’s, it’s a great feeling in on a business side, Bob, anytime you go above and beyond, or you you solve a problem quickly in one visit, that’s another patient that just thinks you’re the bomb and tells a friend, the word of mouth about this is, is I mean, I’ve got patients that are friends with other patients, and they haven’t been in since I’ve had the Redux, but they talk to their buddy, hey, you’re gonna put my hearing aids in that in that fancy vacuum you have. I mean, it’s just neat. People are talking about me, they’re talking about my practice, or talking about how good my services they’re hearing about it through the grapevine. So who doesn’t love that kind of word of mouth? Right?
Bob Traynor 15:46
Well, as as kind of the practitioner in the private practice guy on our interview staff, I really wanted to let colleagues know about the fact that this is a true innovative kind of a, of a device, that could actually cause some huge differentiation between your practice. And you’ve seen that in The Villages, I think, with your practice, and other practices around the community, and it will actually send you patients just like, like Al has, has indicated. And so I didn’t mean to interrupt you, Matt, you had something else to say I’m sure
Matt Hay 16:27
I just gonna say I don’t know, if maybe even realizes how much wood he shared means to me, you know, I mentioned my own hearing loss in 20 years, I’ve had two constants with my hearing loss, I have been incredibly fortunate to have amazing hearing care professional, like I took for granted how lucky I was early on, to have great hearing care professionals and the other conastant the other constant was never met a hearing aid, I couldn’t get wet. And so the opportunity to work in an industry where I can solve the real one problem that I had. So that’s the professional side, the personal side of it is when I was going through my early 20s, my own hearing loss. It’s an incredibly isolating and lonely feeling I was I was surrounded by great friends and family and I had an incredible support network. And I still felt totally alone. And I thought at that time, if I can ever do anything in my life where I can help other people not feel the way I am feeling right now. And maybe that means helping I’m here better, maybe that means their aides working better. I didn’t think about it that much detail at 22. I was just trying to get through the day to be able to hear what Al’s saying and think that I guess unofficially, I’m helping close to 1000 people hear um sorryI can’t believe I get to help close to 1000 people here better every day. And that’s what drives me. And that’s what drives Redux. And I did not intend Bob. And now for this to be a Redux commercial. My hope is that if somebody listens to this, maybe they want to know more about Redux. And I’m happy to tell them but maybe the bigger lesson there is there are new things happening every day, we probably are all going to be better at our job and our patients, your patients are going to improve have an improved experience if we’re open to new ideas or new technology. And maybe just because you didn’t learn about it in college, when you got your auD or when you studied with your hearing instrument specialist doesn’t mean that there’s a better way now, you know, I’ll set these an early adopter, not all of them work, but the ones that do are worth it. And your patients are going to be the ones that benefit from
Bob Traynor 18:37
that. Well, and with that our spot rate and tell us another important component of your experience as well.
Al Turri 18:45
Another component is it relates to, to the value add proposition. My practice now is almost entirely leases, it’s funny how you were talking about leases with the reduction help people we’re kind of fighting it. But part of the value add for the lease is all of the services we bundle in into this affordable monthly payment. And Redux has given me another thing to add to that list of value add. So when you when you do a lease through us or what I call a subscription with the patients, you’ve got this whole list of things that you don’t pay for ever, you know, the warranty stuff the l&d the never ending warranty, the the white glove service, the the late appointments, the early access all these different things that we give them. And the Redux is one more thing on that list actually on the top of that list. Now that we add for, so it’s just it just helps me add something that nobody else is doing. add something that is a big deal for patients, when they when they get their hands wet. And it’s just a great value added it helps me help patients
Bob Traynor 19:44
or kind of goes along with a discussion that we were doing here previously on this weekend hearing relative to leasing. But I really want to thank my guests today Matt hay director of sales at Redux and Al Turri director audiology at the villages in Florida thanks so much for being with us today and we hope that the information that we have presented today will be a benefit to you as you differentiate your practice in audiology. Be with us next week for another episode of This Week in Hearing
Transcribed by otter ai
About the Panel
Robert M. Traynor, is a hearing industry consultant, trainer, professor, conference speaker, practice manager and author. He has decades of experience teaching courses and training clinicians within the field of audiology with specific emphasis in hearing and tinnitus rehabilitation. Adjunct Faculty in Audiology at the University of Florida, University of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado and The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Matt Hay is the Director of Audiology sales for Redux, the developer of a patented drying process for personal electronic devices, hearables and hearing instruments
Al Turri, AuD, is the Director of Audiology at The Villages Health in Florida