Two hearing-aid manufacturers have created devices that link with iPhones, turning hearing aids into de facto Bluetooth headsets.
Medical tech for older consumers is getting much smarter. Two hearing-aid manufacturers, Starkey and GN ReSound, have created devices that link with iPhones, turning hearing aids into de facto Bluetooth headsets on which users can also take calls and listen to music. ReSound is marketing the LiNX as “the world’s smartest hearing aid.” For instance, users can geo-tag locations so that it switches automatically to custom settings in various locales (movie theater, café, etc.). Starkey’s Halo is a similar device.
Other wearable tech targeting older people includes a wristband from CarePredict that communicates with beacons placed around the wearer’s home. The system learns the user’s patterns, then alerts family and other caregivers of any deviation. Meanwhile, technology that monitors vital signs is getting increasingly futuristic. A team of researchers has developed a Band-Aid-like patch that can monitor vital signs, among other things; the bioelectronics startup MC10 is working to bring it to market. And the smart pill—ingestible sensors, like the ones that Proteus is developing—will monitor health data and transmit it to a smartphone or other device. Proteus’ offering could be on the market within the year.
Image credit: Family Hearing Center