Starkey Leaders Raise Awareness about Loneliness Epidemic Among Senior Citizens
Hearing loss among most significant risk factors
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, November 23, 2020 – Starkey leaders recently participated in the annual Reimagine Aging Conference, hosted by Senior Community Services, a nonprofit organization that aims to meet the changing needs of older adults and their caregivers. The focus of this year’s event was how emerging technologies are key to combatting the loneliness epidemic facing many older adults today. Chief Health Officer Archelle Georgiou, MD and Chief Innovation Officer Dave Fabry, Ph.D. both presented on the topic.
“Loneliness is a perception of being alone and feeling as if there is no one to turn to,” said Dr. Georgiou. “This perception is so toxic, not only mentally, but biologically and physically to the human body. As a result, loneliness increases the risk for conditions such as depression, dementia, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and even potentially cancer.”
One of the most significant risk factors for loneliness is hearing loss. Statistics show that people 65 and older are five times more likely to have hearing loss than those younger than 65. Fortunately, through the use of hearing aids, it is addressable.
“For the past several years, Starkey has been on a mission to reinvent the hearing aid and redefine hearing loss by connecting it to these other important health conditions,” said Dr. Fabry. “Livio AI was the hearing industry's first device that employed embedded sensors directly in the hearing instruments, in combination with machine learning and artificial intelligence, to enable hearing aid users to track physical activity by counting how many steps they're taking every day. In addition, they can track important social engagement factors, like whether they're talking with other individuals and wearing them in different listening situations, for example. This social engagement factor is a key component in encouraging people to be more active and socially engaged with their lives.”
Starkey’s technologies also support caregivers, by creating technology to give them peace of mind. The recently released Thrive Care App allows Livio Edge AI hearing aid wearers to share helpful information, like physical activity, hearing aid usage and social engagement, with selected people. It provides peace of mind to family and friends, while helping the hearing aid user maintain confidence and independence.
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Starkey is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Founded by Bill Austin in 1967, Starkey is known for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Led today by President and CEO Brandon Sawalich, Starkey is the only American-owned provider of hearing technologies. The company has more than 5,000 employees, operates 26+ facilities and does business in more than 100 markets worldwide. Learn more at starkey.com.