Written by Oi Frikatthong, CNN
When Adam Gettings, CEO of Nuvu Hearing Aid UK , saw that millions of people around the world were relying on piecemeal hearing aids, he began to wonder why an industry had not been built to provide such products.
“No one was really building a single solution on global scale,” he said in an interview with CNN.
In August 2016, Gettings and his team began creating such a platform by collaborating with companies, institutions and designers who would offer solutions to the global hearing loss epidemic.
1 / 10 2) Aura Health launched Nuvu hearing aids last month in San Francisco. (Source: Aura Health)
Most of these solutions come in the form of a hearing aid, but they also address a range of needs, including medication and telemedicine.
“With the baby boomers living into old age, there’s huge opportunities,” Gettings said. “We just had millions of adults … turning into adults that need to remember how to interact with technology and communication.”
The Foundation for All Hearing, which fosters innovation and fosters global strategies for tackling hearing loss, initiated the Institute for Hearing Aid Innovation in 2012. The organization has helped to launch more than 25 startups to date.
Inspired by the success of Brooklyn-based Factory of Innovation , which won over a number of creative minds with a proposal for the creation of a manufacturing facility for dog cloning, Nuvu has found similar success within the UK. It recently announced that it has raised $10 million from venture capital investors.
But one of the biggest challenges the Nuvu team has faced is convincing some in the industry that hearing aids are not just for the elderly.
Adam Gettings, CEO of Nuvu Hearing Aid. Credit: Courtesy Nuvu Hearing Aid
“With Nuvu, we want to get more into the younger generation,” Gettings said. “We wanted to make hearing aid technology as diverse and as helpful to the young as it is to the older population.”
The idea of growing up hearing only a few words and then adjusting to a multitude of languages was the root of the Nuvu concept.
“Hearing aids are like computers,” Gettings said. “There’s no one size fits all, there’s an awful lot of collaboration needed between ear specialist, audiologist and prosthetist.
“You need to be online and be in touch with your specialist to work out what the right treatment should be.”
Nuvu is now piloting its newest product — an “energy oubliette” — which projects medical information and prescription information onto a user’s phone screen. The company is developing a new device that would allow patients to have a more regular hearing test at their doctor’s office.
“Obviously there are limitations of smartphone data, but we do want to bring some of that data to a consultation with our hearing specialist,” Gettings said.
For now, Nuvu is focussing on further collaboration and collaboration with other hearing aid companies, such as Melody Hearing , DiMenna Laboratories and Some Acoustics, to see what else can be made available to the masses.