Intricon, a micromedical technology company that makes interventional, implantable and body-worn medical devices, has announced the results of a clinical trial studying its new Sentibo self-fitting hearing aid technology.
The study compared the sound quality, fitting process and overall benefits of hearing aids that were self-programmed using the Sentibo mobile app to hearing aids programmed by a hearing care professional.
The study concluded users were, on average, more satisfied with the self-fitting hearing aid. Intricon commissioned the study to prove satisfaction, quality, and safety of its proprietary self-fitting technology, in time for the FDA decision that will allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter (OTC).
The Sentibo self-fit method, which uses a proprietary psychoacoustic audibility model, is the first to not rely on the National Acoustic Laboratory (NAL-NL2) prescriptive fitting method. Audio is self-fit by the wearer.
Intricon studied the NAL-NL2 audibility model, common in the industry since 2011, to identify opportunities for new advancements, such as using a psychoacoustic audibility model during self-fitting for people with varying fidelity expectations to identify their unique needs, with a wider dynamic range of sound. Because psychoacoustic audibility focuses on the user’s perception of sound, it helps everyone hear at a level that is optimized for their unique perception to not miss certain sounds, regardless of their hearing sensitivity.
“Sounds have never been combined in this way before,” explains said Scott Longval, CEO of Intricon. “Sentibo is truly precedent-setting in all aspects of the hearing aid customer experience.”
Longval says Intricon’s goal in developing technology for OTC hearing aids is to improve access and affordability for the 38 million people in the U.S. with mild to moderate hearing loss. Intricon provides components and technology for hearing aids that are professionally fit and self-fit, such as the commercially marketed Lumen 155 hearing aid used in the study.
“For 45 years, Intricon advancements have been focused on expanding the hearing aid market and giving people more options,” said Longval.