We recently released an update to our highly regarded line of Evolv AI hearing aids. This new release delivers significant sound enhancements as well as an update to our 2-Way Audio feature that lets wearers take and end calls directly from their Evolv AI hearing aids instead of their Apple device.
In our latest Sound Bites podcast, Starkey’s own Dave Fabry, Ph.D. and Sara Burdak, Au.D. go into more details about the many updates made to Evolv AI — updates even current Evolv AI wearers can enjoy simply by bringing their Evolv AI hearing aids to their hearing care professional for a firmware update.
In the excerpt below, we’ve pulled out some key highlights. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Dave Fabry, Ph.D. — “Let's talk specifically about the way that our updated Evolv AI hearing aids have set the next level of performance, not only in noise, but also for some other important sound quality and speech intelligibility features, as well as convenience features.
Dr. Sara Burdak — As you know, Dave, our Job One is always, always going to be to hear better. So what's really fun is — from an overall performance, noise and speech clarity perspective — we've made some significant improvements in this last release.
We have been talking about an additional 40% reduction in noise energy with Evolv AI (since we first released it), and we were just able to add that same level of reduction to two additional tricky environments. One of those being wind — so when a person is in wind noise — and then also with machine noise present.
And then our industry-leading artificial intelligence feature called Edge Mode uses AI to really prioritize for a very specific environment that a listener is in for clarity or comfort. It’s designed to be very accurate and situational. I sometimes think of it as the Help Me button.
With this release, Edge Mode has been updated for transportation noise. So it’s ideal for people who drive a lot, as road noise — that sort of low frequency hum — can be very disruptive when you’re trying to listen specifically to someone else in the car.
And, with this release, we're able to provide a true hands-free experience so you're able to accept or reject a phone call directly off of the hearing aid itself. So that's really, really nice.
Dave Fabry, Ph.D. — Let’s also talk about telehealth, or our TeleHear feature, as we call it. This is a synchronous real time feature where you and I might be in different locations as we are today, but we're able to communicate both visually and over audio (using a smartphone, tablet or computer). And then the professional can program the devices and reprogram them with essentially the same functionality as if they were in a face-to-face environment.
Talk just a little bit about the way that professionals can remain engaged with their patient when they're unable to be with each other. I may not always want to take time off from work to come and see you or if I can't drive and I need assistance because I have low vision, I don't have to make those arrangements. So what is it that the TeleHear program allows for that gets you excited?
Dr. Sara Burdak — Everything! No, seriously, I think that we have a real opportunity here because we have had some of the telehealth functionality for quite some time and I've always said, push the limits.
We tend to specifically talk about it from a remote programming perspective, but there are opportunities for tele-consulting, for tele-counseling. With the video capability it’s endless the ways that a hearing professional can support one of their patients today.
We've wanted to make sure that within the remote programming capability, you really could do everything that you needed, and I think that's important. Some people think it's a scaled back version or you're not going to really be able to fine tune and make the adjustments that you need to. That is not the case.
Really, you can accomplish everything that you would accomplish, short of swapping out maybe a receiver cable and those types of things. But from a programming and adjustability perspective, you can accomplish everything that you could in the office (using TeleHear).
Dave Fabry, Ph.D. — For sure. I couldn't agree more. As you know, this has been a topic near and dear to my heart. Yes, not every person can handle telehealth. But I think the pandemic taught us that some of those septuagenarians and octogenarians were perfectly capable of doing FaceTime calls with their grandchildren. They were perfectly able to watch app-based television and understand how to stream from their phone — and they can easily do telehealth the way that we've incorporated it on smartphones. Everything they need is in the palm of their hand for doing telehealth now.”
Join our community of Starkey Blog subscribers
Want a week's worth of Starkey blogs delivered to your inbox? Sign up here.