San Leandro, CA –Only about 22 percent of people with hearing loss have a solution for their impairment, compared to over 95 percent for those with vision problems. iHear Medical Inc.—a medical device startup based in Northern California—is looking to change that.
iHear is currently developing the iHear HD hearing device, a high-quality 100% digital hearing device about the size of a kidney bean. The device is miniaturized to be worn discretely inside the ear. The iHEAR HD will be sold for $199, making it much more affordable than conventional devices that often cost thousands of dollars.
iHear is able to dramatically reduce costs by developing improved design for manufacturability, and by offering its products directly to consumers, instead of relying on clinics and retail stores. People who order the iHearTest kit receive a USB device to take an online home hearing test. They can also program the iHear HD hearing device using their computers with the USB device. The iHearTest kit is included with every hearing aid order, but can also be ordered separately for $49.
In addition to producing one of the most affordable hearing solutions on the market, iHear is committed to bringing solutions to the economically disadvantaged who represent about 40% of the hearing impaired in the US. In collaboration with the Hearing For All foundation, iHear will donate a hearing device to someone in need for every iHear device purchased.
iHear has produced working prototypes of the entire system, but plans to continue refining the product in 2014, and to start shipping first orders in June 2014 for the iHearTest, and August of 2014 for the iHear HD hearing device.
iHear Medical is a startup, with a significant track record and experience in the hearing aid industry. Adnan Shennib—founder and CEO of iHear Medical— previously founded InSound Medical, which created the Lyric hearing device and was sold the company to Phonak in 2010. Shennib started iHear Medical in 2010 in order to address the growing demand for affordable hearing solutions.
“The industry is currently dominated by 6 major players who control over 90% of the market. The industry has operated in the “old business” model of high-cost high-margin service,” says Shennib. “We are about to challenge and lead an industry that refuses to change. The iHear products are expected to create a new paradigm in hearing health care, by removing the major barriers to hearing aid acquisition.”
iHear is currently marketing its products for pre-order on the Indiegogo website. Delivery of products is expected to start in June 2014. To learn more about iHear or to contribute to their cause, please visit their page at igg.me/at/ihearmedical