Ear and Hearing Care for All: We Can Make It Happen – Live from 2023 Future of Hearing Healthcare Conference

May 24, 2023

On World Hearing Day, the WHO launched a new initiative to enable local healthcare professionals to deliver primary ear care including treatable conditions such as cerumen buildup and otitis. This could resolve up to 60% of ear issues directly. Practitioners would be trained to screen for hearing loss but not to treat it. Yet there are many regions of the world where referring out to a hearing care professional is difficult, if not impossible.

Given recent innovations in portable diagnostic equipment, telecare, and devices, the possibility of equipping primary healthcare professionals to treat many cases of hearing loss is growing every day.

Join the discussion as an international panel of experts in delivering hearing care solutions to underserved populations considers the opportunities and barriers to reaching the 430 million people with debilitating hearing loss.

Full Episode Transcript

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About the Panel

Andrew Bellavia is the Founder of AuraFuturity. He has experience in international sales, marketing, product management, and general management. Audio has been both of abiding interest and a market he served professionally in these roles. Andrew has been deeply embedded in the hearables space since the beginning and is recognized as a thought leader in the convergence of hearables and hearing health. He has been a strong advocate for hearing care innovation and accessibility, work made more personal when he faced his own hearing loss and sought treatment All these skills and experiences are brought to bear at AuraFuturity, providing go-to-market, branding, and content services to the dynamic and growing hearables and hearing health spaces.

Audra Renyi is the Executive Director of World Wide Hearing Foundation International and the founder of earAccess Inc. In the private sector, Audra has worked as an investment banker on Wall Street. On the non-profit side, Audra has worked with Doctors Without Borders running the finances and human resources for a refugee hospital in Chad, served as the CFO of One Acre Fund in Rwanda, a non-profit agricultural organization, and acted as Business Consultant for a microfinance organization in Kenya and worked as Director of Development at Canada World Youth. Ms. Renyi holds bachelor’s degrees in economics (Wharton School) and international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed an executive leadership program at Harvard Business School. She received the Governor General of Canada’s Innovation Award and was named Heroine of Health at the WHO World Health Assembly.

Dr. De Wet Swanepoel is professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, a WHO collaborating Center for the Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss. He holds adjunct positions at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Ear Science Institute Australia. His research is focused on innovative solutions and service-delivery models for more equitable hearing care. He has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters and is funded by the NIH, UK Academy of Medical Sciences, National Research Foundation, and industry. Dr Swanepoel is former president of the International Society of Audiology and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Audiology. He is founder of a digital health company called the hearX group, a social enterprise with a vision of healthy hearing for everyone, everywhere.
shellyDr. Shelly Chadha, is the technical lead for ear and hearing care at World Health Organization. She is an otolaryngologist and public health expert from India and has worked as professor of otolaryngology in India prior to joining her current position. Her current work focusses on global hearing health, including advocacy for prioritisation of hearing care; technical support to countries for development of hearing care strategies and development of technical tools and guidance.

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