As many of you know, last week our entire staff attended the Starkey Hearing Innovation Expo in Las Vegas. Starkey is the world’s largest hearing instrument manufacturer. They are also the first company to produce a custom in-the-ear product ... many, many, many years ago.

The Starkey Hearing Innovation Expo is held every two years. It was held at the Cosmopolitan, which is centrally located on the Strip. There are close to 4,000 hearing health care professionals who are invited to attend this event. The event offers superior education opportunities to learn about the latest technologies that are to hit the market. “Hands-on” training allows participants to understand how the new technologies can be applied in real life environments. The technology is mind blowing.

Participants at the Expo had the pleasure of listening to keynote speakers such as General Colin Powell, Sir Richard Branson and Matthew McConaughey. There were breakout sessions with highlights on fitting techniques, tinnitus solutions, balance education and training, health insurance contributors, counseling, and more ... so much more. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. there were over 4,000 like-minded hearing professionals and another 1,200 Starkey employees brainstorming and learning how to be better ... how to be the best. How to help people hear better so that they can live better.

So the latest ... finally! I have been so ready for this. Starkey releases the industry’s first .... drum roll, please .... the first custom Bluetooth rechargeable hearing instrument and it has adaptive/directional microphone system and the artificial intelligence sensors with fall detection.

What you did have to go over-the-ear to get is now available in the “in-the-canal” or ITC style. Bluetooth technology allows for the direct streaming of your phone calls into your hearing aids. In fact, anything you listen to on your phone or iPad can stream directly into your hearing instruments. You can personalize settings. It is compatible with Apple iPhones and select Android phones. (Google pixel 3 & 4 with the android 10 operating system). It’s called the Livio Edge AI. This is huge!

The Livio AI is the world’s first hearing instrument to use artificial intelligence to monitor physical and mental activity. It was named to the Time’s list of ‘Best Inventions of 2019’ and The Verge list of ‘100 best gadgets of the decade.’ Now Starkey has taken this technology and has developed it into a custom product that also has an on-demand feature that delivers un-paralleled performance for speech understanding in the most challenging environments. Truly a performance first in our industry.

Applications with this hearing system also now allow for balance training and caregiver participation. Your hearing health care provider has the ability to really help you keep your body and brain healthy for years to come. There is more, so much more. Release of this product will be just around the corner in February. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.