marketrak 2022 hearing aids

MarkeTrak 2022 and HIA’s New ‘Hear Well’ Campaign: Interview with Kate Carr

Kate Carr, Executive Director of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), joins Brian Taylor to discuss some of the key findings in the latest MarkeTrak 2022 report.  
Since 1989, HIA has been collecting data on the estimated incidence of hearing loss within the U.S., household income and education related to hearing aid use, satisfaction with hearing instruments, new user rates by age, mental and physical health effects of hearing loss, and many others
Kate also reviews HIA’s new public awareness campaign, Hear Well, which can be found at:

Full Episode Transcript

Kate Carr 0:10
Hi, everyone, and welcome to another episode of This Week in Hearing. I’m Brian Taylor. And today’s topic is the latest results from MarkeTrak 2022. And the new ‘Hear Well’ campaign from HIA. And joining us today to talk about that as the executive director of the hearing Industries Association, otherwise known as HIA. And that is Kate Carr. Welcome to the episode Kate.

Thanks for having me on. Brian, great to be here with you.

It’s great to have you. There’s a couple of things that I want to talk about with you. The first is MarkeTrak 2022, I noticed that the name has been changed a little bit. And the kind of the first glance at the data was published a month or so ago in the hearing review an article that you and Tom Powers co authored. So I thought we could start with having you talk and fill us in on the new MarkeTrak 2022 data.

There’s so much to say in response to that question, Brian. So I’ll start with your softball. Why did we change the name, because unlike Super Bowls that go on with Roman numerals forever and ever, we thought for people who are looking at this, particularly as a moment in time, and that’s what it’s meant to do both provide a longitudinal outlook because it was started in 1989. And now 2022. So better to not ask you to try and think of what year but to make it easier for people who reference this. And we know that MarkeTrak is used in audiology schools, it’s used by a much broader audience than simply HIA Members. So it’s kind of exciting to see that information get out there. And there’ll be more information coming in Seminars in Hearing. So big topics that came out some juicy ones, yes. If your audience is hearing care professionals, and I suspect that it is, they will be very happy to know that the rate of satisfaction for hearing professionals remains in the 90s in this latest survey at 91%. Now, that’s down a couple of percentage points. But not that we’re going to scold anyone. But it does mean that people really value those services. And if we can get people to hearing care professional, we know that they’re really happy with the service that they get 66% said the hearing care professional contributed a great deal to their knowledge and understanding of how to use a hearing aid. So there’s a real important role in particularly as we go into the OTC era, which is likely to happen this year. Finally, satisfaction with hearing aids. Another number that’s very high 83%. For anyone who is mildly curious about how does this compare to say consumer electronics, we do better. And I think that that’s a result of the dedication of the professionals who are at every level of this of this industry, whether they’re providing care, or they’re manufacturing the devices, there’s a lot to be said about that as that satisfaction number. In this MarkeTrack, we also started to look at more than hearing aids. In the last MarkeTrak, we took a look at the PSAP market. Now. People are very confused about is this a PSAP? Is this a hearing aid? So we try to really dig into the definitions, we ask people to define exactly what their brand is. And you know that most people don’t recognize their brand. So this time, we have not only hearing aids, we have implants, we have PSAPs. So let’s break down those numbers. Because one of the things that makes me a little bit crazy, and I admit doesn’t take much some days to make me a little bit crazy. Brian, you know me. Not too much, but not too crazy.

We know that the adoption rate based on a survey of more than 15,000 households that reached close to 44,000 individuals to survey them. That’s how we get the adoption rate through that. I don’t know anyone else that does that intensive a survey. But our adoption rate is 38% for hearing aids when you add implants 39% When you add PSAPs, and we know that some people do turn to PSAPs for a hearing device, even though that’s not their intended use, people do use them for that It’s 42%. So this notion that the market penetration is only at 20% does make me a little crazy. I wish that we could really begin to change that outlook. Now, since we’re talking about adoption, we can also look at another number that people track how long does it take for people to actually recognize from when they recognize they have a problem to when they get a hearing aid? Well, this survey it, our number is four years That’s down from six years and the past and certainly a lot lower than 10 years, where it used to be so exciting, exciting information that’s out there. Hearing loss remains at 10% of the population, a number that we have seen pretty consistently since 1989. One of the areas that I think is of concern is hearing loss. We know age related hearing loss when people are 65. And older, it’s 60% increases when they’re 75, to 70%. But we’re starting to see an increase in numbers related to noise exposure. For those between 25 and 44 years of age, one of the important things that MarkeTrak has done has been to track hearing loss over time, and the rate of hearing loss in the US population based on a survey of 15,000. Households has remained pretty consistent at 10%. And that’s from 1989. And through our latest 2022. When we look at that, we know that age related hearing loss, of course, continues to be the biggest problem and especially for those who hit the age of 60-65 to 70-75, where the rate goes from 60% to 70%, even higher. So when you’re talking about two out of every three, or one out of every two people having hearing loss, which all of your listeners are probably familiar with, we know that there’s a significant problem of concern, I think, is the noise exposure. Hearing loss related to noise exposure, that rate for young people between the ages of 25 to 44 is starting to increase. Now the increase is 2% 3%. But it still should be of concern, because we know that noise exposure is a problem that people are listening to their, their ear devices, which are wonderful, I love mine. But you have to really think about the impact of that, if you’re using it for long periods of time. And particularly at high rates, something really important to take a look at. We also have seen an increase in the use of telehealth, probably related to how everyone is adopting as a result of COVID. But the use of telehealth increased to about 20%. And that’s a rate that’s about doubled.

That’s a really valid point that people in the profession need to know about younger people more at risk for developing hearing loss, probably because we’re using these portable earbuds, so many people use them. It’s becoming a real issue, I think that we need to pay attention to a couple things I wanted to kind of go back on. If I put my audiology hat on, Kate. You mentioned, I think it’s really interesting the number of PSAP owners, it’s actually a little higher than I would have guessed. And also, I think that the real point of that was almost all of them like 86, or 90% of them said that they were first time buyers of a device. So that kind of shows you the potential of these kind of off the shelf devices as being a starter instrument. And I think that also speaks to the importance of why you need regulation so that when people take these devices off the shelf, they know it’s of a, you know, a decent quality, and something we all need to pay attention to. And the last point I’ll interject is you you stated a really impressive number 91% of professionals that the satisfaction rate of the professionals 91%. But one of the details that I think professionals need to know about is when you ask non owners that question the number was like 76% or 73%. So there’s a gap, which probably tells you something about the fact that non owners may be going to see a professional and maybe some of them feel pressured into buying. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s a number that we need to pay attention to the gap between that really high number of satisfied owners versus the relatively lower number of satisfied non owners that have seen a professional anyway, those are some things I just wanted to point out to our audience that are part of MarkeTrak 2022 And I wanted to maybe ask you next, some of the other issues with some of the other, maybe methodology changes what you’re tracking differently inside of MarkeTrak 2022, if you could share that with us?

Well, I think I’ve covered a few of the things that we are tracking differently, you know, going beyond just a hearing aid, and taking a look at providing information on implants. And we had about an 83 respondents in the survey on that, and we’ll be doing a deeper dive on implant information, the rate of satisfaction from implant owners is is 91%, you know, and so we had some really strong feedback, probably not surprising to anyone that has a patient who has an implant, my colleague, Bridget Dobyan, is one of them, and just had her device replaced. And she’s grinning from ear to ear and singing and hearing sounds that during COVID, she just wasn’t hearing and wasn’t out in the world as much as she is today. So I hear about it in a firsthand way, with Bridget who I work with every day, looking at how we parse different channels to you know, remote fitting, self fitting, fit with a professional, we are seeing increases in remote fittings, and if you lump remote and self fitting together, that is a growing segment of the market. And that I think is a reflection of, of people being interested. And that’s even, I should say, not only being interested because there’s an option, but also perhaps because of COVID, that having to be the option because we asked people for your last hearing aid, how were you fit. And that’s not to undercut anything about a hearing care professional, you know, you made it, you made a point about distinguishing the level of satisfaction between owners and non owners, those people who don’t purchase and we do now and Brent Edwards in Seminars in Hearing did a beautiful expose of there are people who will always remain non-owners who simply will never become will never adapt or adopt. So we know that there are some that you won’t satisfy. But people do complain about feeling a push, feeling that quote unquote, sale, as opposed to this is about your hearing health. And all the reasons that you need to explain and work with a patient, you know, the the number of times that people will visit their hearing care professional over time, it’s not a one and done, as you know, it can be, you know, two to three or four visits. And it can be more in some cases, just just the adapting to the technology is important. So I want to speak a little bit about technology, because we do ask what are the favorite features. And you know, when hearing aids began to change, and they’re, you know, there have been a lot of changes and a lot of improvements in technology. And I know even more to come. What we’ve seen is volume control that probe that program button, rechargeable batteries, those those all score above 50% volume control, like it’s almost 75% I was surprised that apps knowledge about apps, while it increased from 20% to 44%. In this in this market track compared to our last one 44% You would think that wow, doesn’t everyone use their app? Now, right, I knew what it was like when we gave my father an iPhone, and he’s like, what’s this? And what do I do with it? But we have to do a better job on that one. And I because I think that will just improve ease of use. And, you know, not whether people will ever some people may never understand that streaming from your your, from your hearing aid through your device just automatically happens. And it’s just one of those great gifts of hearing aids, right, the ability to stream

well, and I think that you make a good point about apps and about Bluetooth streaming as they become more and more commonplace inside of the hearing aid and with as, as owners of hearing aids get more savvy to the use of their smartphone connecting with their hearing aids. I think those numbers were bound to increase but and maybe they’re not increasing as quickly as we would think. But nevertheless, my guess is the next time you do MarkeTrak 2025, or whatever it is, you’ll probably see an increase in some of those numbers around apps.

Probably, probably. But you know, in the interim, it will only increase if we all do a better job and talking about it and talking about the technology, talking about something as important as cost. You know, there’s such a misperception about cost, particularly in the world that I live and advocacy in Washington, DC at the federal level, the misinformation about devices, about price about the technology is is just overwhelming. And it’s something that we work on trying to educate policy leaders about what the what the real facts are. And that’s where market track is, is of great assistance to us because it is the data is the data. Right? And I think I’m supposed to say, an acknowledgement. When I when I say that to Catherine Palmer, the data is the data so says Dr. Catherine Palmer

sounds like something she might say,

I think that’s I’m told that that that is, you know, one of the other things and there’s such a became such a focus on issues of diversity during COVID. And we actually went back and we did several presentations, when we called through MarkeTrak 10. So we also brought it into MarkeTrak 2022. And there is a difference, and we’re not quite sure how to explain those differences yet. But the difference do exist. When you look at the white population, the level of hearing loss is 12%. When you look at bipoc, black, indigenous persons of color 7% Five point difference than if you break that bipoc. Number down, you have Hispanic the rate of hearing loss at 8%. Versus that for black individuals at 5%. Native Americans at 12%. Asians at 9%. You know, are Is this about lack of access? Is it about lack of knowledge? Is it based in a medical reality? We don’t know. But it is an issue of equality and access. And something tells me that there’s at least a part of it. And that, particularly if we look at the racial composition of hearing care professionals don’t find if you’re a person of color, many people who look like me, right behind. And I’ve really tried to be a champion of how do we change that, because that’s an access and equality issue. And it’s important. So we’ve we have mountains of data that we’ll be diving through, this is just like, just like touching the surface of it. We’ll have another journal seminars and hearing coming out later this year, we’re actually working on it and have some fabulous authors of have that have the data. And I like to think that, you know, we we don’t ask anyone from industry to author those articles. So we provide that data to outside experts. So they can look through it in it’s a form of validation. And I think a really important one for for not only students who might look at it, but for practicing professionals.

Well, and I think it should get both the professionals out there and the consumers at large competence that, you know, the industry is has their best interests in mind, when they do things like this. That’s, that’s good to see.

You know, coming into this industry. I’ve worked in a number of healthcare related associations, organizations, mostly on the consumer side. And the appeal of trying to do something about big gnarly issue. People don’t pay attention to the hearing health was attractive to me. And what I have found, as I found in consumer organizations is a great deal of caring about the people who are ultimately served. You know for industry. There’s our members are not necessarily in the direct to consumer business. Some might have some products that are there, but it’s not a big percentage, but the care about the ultimate consumer of the product patient, whether we call them patient or consumer. It’s a person who needs help. And there’s a genuine care and concern that I see across members of our organization, who are manufacturers or retailers or suppliers or distributors or hearing care professionals and professionals built into this, this work. It’s I would think, a life’s calling to do something that helps people. It’s it’s a great thing. And if this information can be helpful in reaching and helping them to reach others, and helping them to refine their business, all great, but you know, I have one more thing to talk about.

Yeah, I would guess. Since we’ve been talking about public service. Awareness. I think we should probably talk about the Hear Well, campaign right. Here. Well, campaign. Yeah, it’s an exciting thing. So tell us more about Hear Well,

I want to start by saying this is not our first rodeo. Okay, we did ‘Hear Well, Stay Vital’. And we did actually two campaigns. The first one, our first go, shortly after I started, we had almost $3 million in earned media. The second one, and we had six videos for this, we now have earned media of $10.4 million, getting the word out about hearing health. So now, this third iteration here well, is about the importance of seeing a hearing professional, the importance of your hearing health. Now, the easy thing to do would be to just do this campaign and put it out there as PSAs. But that’s not enough. Okay. So the next layer is we asked our members, and to post it on their social media channels to promote the campaign organically or to pay. Paid search is how you get people to look at your posts. And Facebook remains the number one place that people look for information. Interesting tidbit, Instagram is moving up. So you don’t have an Instagram account, get one’s going. But we didn’t stop with just our members, and we have a walloping 13 members. What we have added is another 15 organizations, some of them that our National Council on Aging, the you know, the Hearing Loss Association of America, the hearing professional organizations, we have partners in this. And every week, we are asking every organization who has committed to this campaign to do one thing, to put one post snap, we provide the post, we provide the copy for the post, we give you everything, so all you have to do is cut and paste it in to your social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. And we’re going to ask people to if you do post report, and much like our data collection, that that we do for hearing aid sales, so we can see not only the impact of our paid media campaign, because we’re we are putting a significant amount of money into a paid media campaign, meaning we’re buying ads on Facebook, Twitter, buying placement search words on Google. So we’re really trying to get the message out about the importance of seeing hearing professional. And we’ve really put together a great group of partners who are very committed to helping to get this messaging out, because they recognize that self fitting hearing aids will be an option for some, no question about it. Some people will feel like very comfortable doing that. But some people are going to need some help. And a lot of people are going to need to know what their level of hearing loss is, before they do anything new. That’s the most important message that we can get out there. No one understand before you buy something that may or may not work for you. Because it may not be right for you may be right for you. It may not be right for you. But it’s the guidance of a professional to help. So we’re really, we’re really working hard on that. I’m very excited about the opportunity. And you don’t have to be a member of any of those organizations. If you go to you can download all of the assets that are in there. And you can join us in this in this effort and be a part of it. And if you’d like to be recognized to any of your listeners who are with an organization that want to be recognized as a partner in this and join in this exciting effort about educating people about their hearing counts about the value of their hearings. The importance of their hearing to their quality of life. Be a partner, you know, reach out to us You’ll get Lindsay, she’ll tell me, we’ll get you involved in. But you don’t even have to call us you can simply use the the assets that are there.

While I hope our viewers take that as a call to action that we need them to be part of the Hear Well campaign, what was that website again Kate?

It is

And they can find the campaign right on there. Yes you can because I checked it not too long ago, and I saw it was there. So good. Good to know.

Just tell me, Brian, did you pick one out and post it on your social media?

Oh I’m not savvy enough to use social media that much, but I will I promise… Yeah, no, I haven’t done any of that yet. But that’s me. I’m a little bit of Luddite

Well, we’re welcome to coming out of the Luddite world. I bet you have a LinkedIn profile. Yes.

Yeah, I do. I will, I will take advantage as soon as we get off this call, I will do that. Actually,

you know, I posted Bridget’s video with a little message. And I’ve had close to 1000 people read my message, and almost 350 plus views of the video on my little LinkedIn.

Well I’m gonna see if I get the same kind of even close to that I’ll be impressed.

Getting the word out is important

It’s really important. Yeah. And I want to do my share for sure. So thank you for your time, Kate. We really appreciate you having having having you on This Week in Hearing. I do want to I think it was the May 2022 issue of Hearing Review that has the first slice of the MarkeTrak 2022 data, right?

That’s right. That’s right.

I’ll make sure there’s a link in our little message that goes out with this with this video so people can access it.

Be sure to subscribe to the TWIH YouTube channel for the latest episodes each week and follow This Week in Hearing on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Prefer to listen on the go? Tune into the TWIH Podcast on your favorite podcast streaming service, including AppleSpotify, Google and more.


About the Panel

Kate Carr joined the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) as President in May 2018. Kate brings extensive expertise in non-profit management, government, cause marketing and advocacy to HIA. An experienced leader, Kate has devoted her career to organizations that change outcomes in health care and improve the lives of children and families. She has served as an Assistant to the President in the Clinton White House, as President and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Managing Director of Malaria No More and President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. Kate holds a BBA in Economics and Management from Temple University.


Brian Taylor, AuD, is the senior director of audiology for Signia. He is also the editor of Audiology Practices, a quarterly journal of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, editor-at-large for Hearing Health and Technology Matters and adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin.


About HHTM

HHTM's mission is to bridge the knowledge gaps in treating hearing loss by providing timely information and lively insights to anyone who cares about hearing loss. Our contributors and readers are drawn from many sectors of the hearing field, including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and, importantly, consumers with hearing loss and those who love them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.