Tag Archives: Oticon Medical

Nancy Smith Oberman on upgrading to Ponto 4

Part 2 of 2

As we shared in Part 1 of Nancy Smith Oberman’s upgrade story, she had her concerns about moving to a bilateral Ponto 4 bone anchored hearing system from her Ponto 3 SuperPowers. The following post traces her journey from deciding to upgrade through her life with Ponto 4, which she originally shared via a series of Facebook posts.*

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Decision made – Nancy chooses Ponto 4

Steel Gray Ponto 4

I authorized my audiologist to order my right, steel-gray Ponto 4, and will order the left in January. I’m still absolutely amazed by how well the Ponto 4s work for me. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to trial them in just about every situation I experience on a daily basis. I was not very positive they would work for me, but as I tell people all the time — louder does not equal good hearing.

I think the thing I’m most impressed with is the fact that I can hear behind me, at least when someone is speaking to me. I don’t necessarily have to face the speaker, which has been a blessing. I’m also quite surprised I don’t get feedback, because I’m pretty sure they are set at the ceiling. Sometimes I will turn them up a tad — my left cochlea is not as good as the right, which is why I’ve always boosted the Pontos with a traditional hearing aid, which gives me the needed extra amplification on the left.

I love that I can control my settings with my Apple® watch! With Ponto 4, I’m experiencing sound that seems even more natural and with less vibration, if that makes sense.

I’m just as happy as I can be… as are my staff!  I find that only I can hear what I’m listening to now and so am enjoying taking my phone calls via Bluetooth® anywhere. Who would have thought?

Follow-up after getting Ponto 4 confirms better hearing

Audiogram

Just left my audiologist’s office to pick up one new Ponto (second will be procured in January). As I’m getting ready this morning, he shoots me an email reminding me to bring my SuperPowers to the appointment. He wants to test me with both, to compare. Actually, I was looking forward to doing just that; cannot deny I’ve had a twinge or two over the last month, thinking I may very well have convinced myself the Ponto 4 was better because it was newer and had that direct connect Bluetooth.

We go into the sound booth and start with the Ponto 4s. After the tone thing, he does the speech recognition, where I have to repeat sentences that are spoken with increasing background noise and voices. I thought I did okay, so great! Next, we move to the SuperPowers. No change in program; exactly what I’d used for the last two-and-a-half years. What did I think? Yep, the SuperPowers were going to work better than the 4s, which were much quieter… sigh.

When we finished, my audiologist was grinning. “Well,” I asked, “was I wrong in thinking I heard better with the 4s… kinda bummed?”

“Nope,” he said. “You actually understood speech better with the 4s!” With 1-3 being normal speech recognition (1 being better than 3), I hit at 1.6 with the Ponto 4s. With the Ponto3 SuperPowers, I hit at 2.8. Yay, I was correct — I really do hear better with the 4s!

Advice to Ponto wearers considering an upgrade

My advice to others considering whether to upgrade to a Ponto 4 from their SuperPower device is that you have got to give a trial more than five minutes, or even five hours or an entire day! I sat in a noisy restaurant with friends the other day and didn’t miss any of the conversation even with all the clanking of dishes, crying children, other conversations, etc. While you might not experience a big “a-ha” moment of noticeable hearing improvement, don’t be discouraged. The changes are so subtle (which I think is awesome, actually) that it may take your brain a day or two to catch up to the marked improvement. This is as close to normal hearing as I can remember all those years ago, before the onset of my hearing loss.

I think Oticon Medical has hit this out of the park!

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Click the button if you want to learn more about our Ponto bone anchored hearing systems or arrange a trial.

*NOTE: Originally shared via a series of Facebook posts with permission.

Nancy Smith Oberman on upgrading to Ponto 4

Part 1 of 2

Nancy Smith Oberman had her concerns about upgrading to a bilateral Ponto™ 4 bone anchored hearing system from her Ponto 3 SuperPowers. After all, her SuperPower devices worked great, plus with her profound level of hearing loss, she was doubtful that a non-SP device could help her hear as well as she needed. The following traces her journey from curious but cautious to official Ponto 4 convert.*

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To upgrade or not to upgrade? That was my question

So, unfortunately, I have to add a hearing aid back into the mix. Not sure what’s going on — my hearing hasn’t changed much from my last audiogram even though it’s a little worse, but not enough (at least so my audiologist says) to make a big difference. I’m surmising my brain is getting older and I’m getting crankier, and just a little more tired of working so damn hard to hear people who refuse to speak up. Wonder how everything will work when Ponto 4 Super-Powers (when they  come out) are added. Gotta love technology!
I want to trial the Ponto 4 and am trying to get the Ponto 4 demo now. I’m kind of afraid that my hearing loss is too great for non-SuperPower devices, but my audiologist knows I’ll only be satisfied once I am certain one way or another.

First step: trialing Ponto 4

I’m scheduled to get bilateral Ponto 4s programmed for trial Wednesday. In the meantime, I love teaching people! I’m working with the company that set up our phone system to come up with a solution to resolve my difficulty with phone usage. I had quite the conversation explaining the bone anchored hearing system and the Bluetooth® direct connection capabilities of the new Ponto 4. The person I spoke to was fascinated, to say the least! I consider it a win-win: I’ve educated more people about hearing loss and the technology to aid those of us who have it, plus I resolved my phone issue.

My Ponto 4 trial experience

I picked up two Ponto 4s Wednesday for trial. First off, I am amazed at how well they pick up speech, even for someone who has as great a loss as mine (I’m programmed to the ceiling with my Ponto 3 SuperPower devices). There is definitely a noticeable difference between the two sound platforms, with the (Oticon Opn™) open platform seriously a marked improvement.
Surprisingly, since these are programmed to the ceiling, I’ve had no feedback to speak of. Besides clearer, crisper speech, I hear as well as I do with the SuperPower, which I currently wear along with a regular hearing aid. I’ve played a little with wearing them without my hearing aid, and found that I still have the clear speech, but can’t hear much of anything else (e.g., background noise), which gives me a feeling that my ears are stopped up. Didn’t go a long time, since I was at work teaching, and was a tad nervous I would struggle hearing my students. But the few conversations I had with my coworkers outside the classroom were normal. I didn’t struggle to hear them even with students milling about or being loud while on the mats.
Hopefully, I’ll be braver next week and teach the whole day with just the bilateral Ponto 4 and without my hearing aid. Got to give them enough time to really test their performance.

Pleasantly surprised by Ponto 4

The Ponto 4s are so small and lightweight that it feels as if they aren’t even attached. I do miss the ability to mute from the processor itself but using the Oticon ON™ app is no different than using the app with my hearing aid. The direct Bluetooth is absolutely wonderful, except I can only use it in private. As with the streamer, everyone else around me can hear sounds traveling through the processors. At least my coworkers are used to me being in my office with my door closed.
I will be trialing the Ponto 4s for at least a month, so I can test them in all aspects of my life and hearing situations. So far, even though there was no initial “ah-ha” moment like I experienced with the Ponto 3 SuperPower, I am certainly impressed! I sure thought they wouldn’t work for me. I teach adults hands-on activities as well as in classrooms, and it’s quite busy and loud. Surprisingly, Ponto 4 seems to have a marked ability to mute that noise when I’m engaged in conversation.

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Will Nancy decide to take the plunge and upgrade to Ponto 4? Find out in our next post!

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Click the button if you want to learn more about our Ponto bone anchored hearing systems or arrange a trial.

*NOTE: Originally shared via a series of Facebook posts with permission.

Oticon Medical Hosts Annual New Advocates Meeting

Over the weekend of October 11-13, we hosted 40+ attendees — including Ponto wearers and their families — for our annual New Advocates Meeting, which was held at Oticon Medical’s headquarters in Somerset, NJ. A few long-time Ambassadors, including Angela and Sarah Zabel and Kevin Hotaling, also attended in order to share their experiences and provide coaching and inspiration.

Friday night inspiration

We kicked the weekend off with a welcome reception and dinner held at the Bridgewater Marriott where attendees were staying for the weekend. While serving dessert, we conducted a Share Your Story activity during which everyone took a few minutes to introduce themselves and talk about their experiences with hearing loss and journeys to better hearing with Ponto bone anchored hearing systems.

Friday night dinner and story sharing

A busy Saturday schedule

Bright and early Saturday morning, we kicked of a full day of educational panels on topics ranging from Ponto 4: Introduction and Design to New Advances in Bone Anchored Hearing Procedure, all conducted by various Oticon Medical staffers and audiology professionals. Hands-on workshops included how to use Canva to enhance social media posts and how to add visual effects and edit self-made videos. We also introduced Oticon Medical Friends, our exciting new community portal through which wearers will be able to stay in closer contact with our company and one another. Meanwhile, our child wearers and their siblings were kept entertained by Mad Science of West New Jersey and The Lizard Guy and his live animal exhibits.

Mad Science presentation

Saturday night, we took a fun trip together on the Sparkling NYC Skyline Dinner Cruise. Attendees and staff enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner and a couple of loops around New York City before reaching the main attraction — a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty. There was also plenty of time for dancing and fun on-board.

New York skyline by boat

Statue of Liberty

 

Sunday wrap-up

Sunday morning, we held a panel discussion on Technology and Access, which included a lively Q&A about insurance-related topics. Then Melissa Tumblin and her daughter Aly presented key Oticon Medical staff members with Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Awareness Awards in recognition of all they’ve done to improve the lives of people with these conditions. The weekend concluded with a farewell luncheon, and then everyone headed back home with the knowledge and motivation to be the best possible advocates on behalf of those with hearing challenges.

Aly & Melissa with Pres. John Sparacio

We would like to thank all of our attendees and Ambassadors for sharing their stories and further developing a supportive, tightly connected community!

Click to learn more about Ponto bone anchored hearing systems, including Ponto 4, our smallest and first processor with direct wireless streaming and all the benefits of Oticon’s proven Opn™ technology.

More confident and able to focus on the sounds of life with Ponto 4

The Ponto 4 connects my love for technology with my need of quality hearing. The features I enjoy most include clarity, surround-sound, and sense of direction, and wireless connection to Bluetooth. Ponto 4 allows me to feel more confident about wearing an aid and to focus on the sounds of everyday life.” — Camilla Gilbert

Jada, Connie, and Camilla

Camilla Gilbert lives in Cincinnati, Ohio along with her daughter, Jada. She was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia, a congenital condition that affects how ears develop and frequently includes severe or complete hearing loss in the affected ear(s). She was fitted with a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) as a child but used to wear her processors covered up with a headband. Then she learned more about her condition and discovered the importance of community and advocacy on behalf of others with Microtia, Atresia, and other hearing challenges.

Today, she is an active advocate for individuals with hearing loss and passionate about educating others on how to function efficiently in the hearing world. She serves on the committee for Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Support Group and is a past president of the Southwest Ohio chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Camilla has worn Oticon Medical Ponto BAHS bilaterally for many years. So, when the opportunity arose to try out the latest technology, Ponto 4, she jumped at the chance.

The following are her thoughts and experiences after wearing Ponto 4 for an extended period, which she is sharing in hopes of informing others who might want to try Ponto 4 either as a user new to wearing BAHS entirely or as an upgrade from their current BAHS.

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My first impressions of Ponto 4

I became the first person in the United States to get Ponto 4 after agreeing to participate in a video with Oticon Medical in New York. The video shoot itself was awesome! It was interesting because my daughter and I never did anything like that before. We felt like celebrities for a day. I was very excited that the video would be used to help inspire potential Ponto 4 wearers. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into when I agreed to participate, but I trusted Oticon Medical.

My first impression of the Ponto 4 was that it was much smaller than my previous BAHS. I also loved that I could hear more all around me and not just sound coming from in front. It has a smaller, sleeker design, so if someone were concerned about others seeing their processor, they wouldn’t have to be as compared to other devices. I also noticed I could hear clearly outside even in the middle of New York City, and found it supported my active lifestyle. For example, I could listen to music better and really focus on my workout when I went for a run.

The Ponto 4 was pretty cool during my NYC visit after the video shoot. I was really still getting used to hearing everything around me – it took a few hours. It sounded like 360° hearing, rather than sound coming at me only from the front. When I was heading home and inside the airport, I noticed how noisy and crazy it was, and yet I could tell where all the different sounds were coming from. I had the same experience outside in Times Square — I could pinpoint where all the sound was coming from.

A month in and still loving Ponto 4

Having worn my new Ponto 4 devices for a month now, I can say that they have made a difference in my daily life — definitely at work, because it’s easier to hear everything. I can tell where speech is coming from. It’s also easier to have Ponto 4 while working out because I don’t need to wear a streamer around my neck. I recently went to a wedding and a Father’s Day celebration, and I was able to hear every conversation all around me and understand what was said. This is much better than the way it used to be, when I had to actively focus to my left or right in order to hear speech coming from either side but couldn’t hear and process conversations from both sides at the same time.

Ponto 4 is definitely smaller than my previous Ponto Plus. The features that really continue to stand out for me are the wireless connectivity — being connected with the (Oticon ON™) app and my smart devices. It’s been really great using that connectivity. Also, the Open Sound Navigator™ enables me to hear sounds all around me.

The Ponto 4 are comfortable to wear. Because I have thick hair, I love that the new design doesn’t have a volume control on-board, because my hair used to get stuck in that all the time and pull. Also, the sticker with Mute used to rub off all the time, so I don’t miss that either.

Listening to music is clearer, more like listening through surround-sound headphones. Phone calls are also clear, even video calls (e.g., Facetime). Ponto 4 allows me to feel more confident about wearing aids and focus on the sounds of everyday life. I am looking forward to using the new Ponto 4 as a doctoral student at Northern Kentucky University in the fall of 2019!

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Want to learn more? Click here to read about Ponto 4.

Ready to get a new processor? Click to learn about the upgrade process, including how to receive assistance from our Reimbursement Support team.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_5

Part 5 of 5

In Part 4 of this series, I provided tips on how to put the “social” in your social media. In this edition, the conclusion, I’ll talk about how to analyze your performance and adjust if you find you’re off-track in reaching your goals.

Analyze and adapt

All social media platforms offer statistics you can use to track the performance of each post you’re making. You’ll want to keep an eye on Engagement in particular – the number of Likes/Shares/Comments on Facebook and LinkedIn, retweets and comments on Twitter, and “regrams” and comments on Instagram. By reviewing and tracking this data you can make informed content strategy decisions based on which items performed well or not. Expect that you’ll have to periodically tweak your topics, balance of post types, post release times, and more over time as audience makeup and preferences change.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your Reach to make sure your audience is even seeing your posts. This is especially true now that Facebook has made it all but impossible to reach your entire (or even the majority of) your Fans/Followers list without paying to boost a post. You might need to strategize and decide which posts you should boost and how much money you can afford to put behind these to reach as many people as possible. Obviously, anything boosted should include a clear call to action in support of your goal.

Nothing succeeds like success

Ultimately, you will know your online strategy is working if you attain that defined and measurable goal you set. Whether it’s an increase in donations or number of event attendees, gaining more advocates for your cause or influencing legislation, skillful utilization of social media can go a long way toward helping advocates like you achieve your goals.

Do you or a loved one need your hearing tested? Find a clinic near you now!

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_4

Part 4 of 5

In Part 3 of this series, I provided suggestions on how to choose the right social media channels to maximize your digital reach. This week, in Part 4, I offer tips on how to put the “social” in your social media.

Sharing is caring

The point of social media is interaction. You want to draw visitors to your content, engage with it (and you), and ideally take an action that supports your established goal. The best way to do this is make sure whatever you share is interesting and relevant to your target audience and includes an engaging visual element (photo, .gif, or video).

Regularity is also key, so make sure you establish a content release schedule you can manage consistently. This rewards audience loyalty to your properties, which in turn allows you compete against all the other social outlets vying for their attention. Examples of good schedules include one post on Facebook or three-five daily tweets on Twitter per day. Remember, you can utilize a content management platform like HootSuite to schedule posts/tweets in advance so that you aren’t overwhelmed by a frequent need to post. Even without one of these platforms, you can schedule ahead on Facebook from the platform itself.

Don’t forget the hashtags

Make sure you learn how to use hashtags on all your platforms – they’re not just for Twitter anymore! “Ride” popular hashtags related to your cause so that more of your potential audience can discover your content. Using single-sided deafness (SSD) as our model cause again, you could include #deaf, #hearingloss, or #hoh regularly with your posts, which makes them show up when someone performs one of these common searches for content. Additionally, if you see a hashtag is trending that relates to your cause (e.g., #WorldHearingDay) you could include it in a post linking SSD to the importance of getting your hearing checked. Just make sure you don’t go crazy with the hashtags – using too many in relation to the amount of content provided in a post has been shown to reduce engagement.

One more post to go in this series! In my next post, I’ll provide an overview on how to analyze the results of your online efforts and tweak them to achieve your goals.

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_3

Part 3 of 5

In Part 2 of this series launched last week, I provided suggestions on how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your online activities. This week, in Part 3, I’m going to take you through how to choose the right social media channels to maximize your digital reach.

Choose the right channels

I recommend setting up a “home base” online first — a website if you have a larger organization with multiple goals or a blog page if your organization is small or a solo effort. WordPress and Wix are two examples of free, user-friendly site builders available to help you establish a basic web presence. Your site or blog will provide a source of regular content to share through your social media properties. It will also give you a central location to which you can drive online visitors and get them to take an action (e.g., donate, learn more, sign up for emails and events, etc.), which you will need for tracking purposes.

Research your target audiences and where they tend to gather online to assess which social media platforms will best support your efforts. Focus on developing one or two properties first. Most activists and advocates start with Facebook and Twitter, but platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat can be quite effective as well.

A YouTube channel is a powerful tool, as videos increase engagement with social posts. They can be shared from your channel by friend, fans, and followers through every social media platform, and are the content likeliest to go viral. However, you (or someone in your organization) obviously needs the expertise and time to create them.

LinkedIn tends to draw a more career-focused, professional audience, which may or may not suit your goals. Reddit gets tremendous traffic, but many find it complicated, riddled with trolls, and too much of an attention drain to manage. Tumblr is popular, especially with younger audiences (tweens, teens, and 20-somethings primarily) — depending on your goal, that audience might be worth your effort to cultivate but go in knowing that it is a constantly updating outlet. Plus, you’ll be competing with extremely active fandoms and similar lighthearted content for attention.

Managing multiple social properties

If you do reach a point where you want to utilize multiple platforms, it’s a good idea to learn a social media management tool (a couple tried-and-true options offering free basic versions include HootSuite and TweetDeck). These allow you to schedule multiple posts across platforms even in advance, plus they let you monitor comments and messages, so you can interact with your audiences in a timely and consistent fashion. If you’re willing to invest in upgraded versions, you can use them to track valuable performance statistics like audience engagement all in one spot.

Hope this information is helpful! In my next post, I’ll provide tips on how to put the “social” in your social media.

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_2

Part 2 of 5

In Part 1 of this series launched last week, I provided suggestions on what to consider before establishing your online presence. This week, in Part 2, I’m going to guide you through how to define the goals you hope to reach by taking your advocacy online.

Be S.M.A.R.T.

Continuing with single-sided deafness (SSD) advocacy as an example cause, let’s say you start with a goal of, “To raise awareness of single-sided deafness”. That’s a fine start, but you should further define what you hope to achieve online in order to track your progress and results. Most social media professionals utilize the S.M.A.R.T. method to establish clear and attainable goals. Let’s look at how this works by using this method to refine our sample goal:

  • Specific. The more precisely defined, the better. If you’re defining an online presence, here are some examples to help you set specific goals:
    • Who — do you want to reach by taking your advocacy online?
    • What — do you intend to accomplish for your cause?
    • When — what milestones do you want to reach on your way to the goal?
    • Where — do you want your online reach to extend (local, countrywide, global)?
    • Why — are you choosing to expand your advocacy to include online efforts?
    • How — are you going to use social media to achieve your goal?

This leads to a clearer, more precisely defined goal, e.g., “To raise public awareness in the U.S. of the issues affecting those living with single-sided deafness in order to increase donations this year.”

 

  • Measurable. How do you know if you’ve increased donations? Set a measurement, such as, “Double the number of donations received over last year.”
  • Attainable. Look closely at that number and make sure it’s achievable. It’s usually wise to start smaller and then build over time. In this case, perhaps something more attainable would be, “Increase donations by 10 percent over last year.”
  • Relevant. Consider whether social media provides an opportunity you wouldn’t have otherwise. If so, then ask yourself, “How?” Adjust your goal to focus on what you plan to achieve using tools uniquely available online, such as, “Increase donations by 10 percent this year by driving Friends/Fans/Followers to GoFundMe campaign.”
  • Time-based. Goals bound by specific timeframes are easier to track and attain. Rather than a vague “this year”, try, “Increase donations by 1-2 percent each month in 2019 by driving online audiences to GoFundMe campaign, with year-end goal of increasing overall donations by 10 percent.”

Still with me? Great! In my next post, I’ll discuss how to choose the best social media channels for your advocacy outreach.

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_1

Part 1 of 5

Everyone here at Oticon Medical is so impressed by the advocacy efforts we see online in support of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Whether the focus is on raising awareness of related health conditions or the benefits of bone-anchored hearing systems, social media has made sharing information and events easy, immediate, and far-reaching. But how do you develop an effective social media presence and then track whether it is helping you attain your goals as an advocate?

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to provide you with tips to help you define (or refine) an effective social media strategy in support of your generous efforts. Let’s begin at the beginning — establishing your online presence.

Set yourself up for success

Before you do anything else, think about what you can offer an online audience with your advocacy.  For example, do you have personal experience with a specific health condition?

Let’s say your cause is single-sided deafness (SSD) — perhaps you have it yourself or have a child who does. Maybe you are an audiologist or lobby on behalf of those with SSD. Whatever personal and/or professional experience you have to offer, evaluate how to best express your knowledge and expertise in your social media profile so visitors to your online property will feel confident that you know what you’re talking about.

Will going online enhance your “live” efforts?

In parallel, consider why you want to take your efforts online. Developing and maintaining an effective online presence will take significant time and effort, so you want to make it worth your while. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish that you can’t achieve through your real-world efforts alone.

Continuing to use SSD as our example cause, here are some things you want to consider:

  • Will you significantly increase your ability to reach your target audience (e.g., affected communities, other advocates) by moving some of your efforts online?
  • Will social media shares and promotion increase the general public’s awareness of the impact of SSD and understanding of those living with it?
  • Might online platforms help you raise more money for SSD research or donations in support of people who don’t have insurance coverage and can’t afford a BAHS?
  • Will promoting events like marches, meet-ups, and similar activities online improve your ability to organize them, and increase attendance beyond what you’ve experienced using traditional mailings, flyers, and word-of-mouth alone?

If the answer to one or more of these is “yes” then it’s time to move forward with establishing your online presence. In the next post in this series, I’ll guide you through how to establish “S.M.A.R.T.” goals for your social media campaigns.

Questions? Please ask yours in the comments!

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Ponto helps wearers! Learn faster. Remember more. Reduce listening effort.

By now you’re likely familiar with BrainHearing™, our guiding principal when it comes to developing our hearing systems. Simply put, it is an acknowledgement that the most vital hearing processes, including speech comprehension and understanding, occurs in the brain, not ears. Therefore, effective hearing systems need to make it as easy as possible for your brain to make sense of incoming sounds, not just pick up and amplify them. Our Ponto™ bone-anchored hearing systems (BAHS) support better sound processing that enables wearers to learn faster[1], remember more[2], and expend less listening effort[3] — and we have the evidence to prove it.

Learn faster with Ponto

Principal investigator Professor Andrea Pittman of Arizona State University studied 17 preteen children, 16 of whom had conductive hearing loss and one with single-sided deafness (SSD). She initially tested the children with the Ponto Power fitted on softbands. Prof. Pittman had the children listen to and learn six new made-up words and assessed the number of repetitions required before each child learned the words. Then she repeated the test, only this time with the Ponto Power affixed to the children’s abutments. The results were significant — it took the children approximately 166 trials to learn the words when sounds were transmitted through the skin via the softband yet only 60 trials when sounds were transmitted directly through the attached devices. That’s an impressive 2.5 times increase in learning speed!  

Ponto helps wearers remember more

Professor Thomas Lunner worked with Oticon Medical at the Ericksholm Research Center in Denmark to assess how Ponto aids in improving memory. Participants in the study included 16 adults in their late fifties with conductive or mixed hearing loss. Again, the subjects were first tested wearing their Pontos on softbands only. Their assigned task was to recall seven words after listening to sentences including each word individually. The results showed the subjects remembered the words at a rate of approximately 46 percent. However, when they wore their Pontos on their abutments and were tested again, that number rose to a significant 52 percent. This means wearers experienced a 13 percent relative improvement in ability to recall with direct sound transmission vs. skin transmission — likely because fewer mental resources were needed to process the signal, and so more can be devoted to memory.  

Reduce listening effort with Ponto 3 SuperPower

The principal investigator in this study was Oticon Medical, working out of our Global headquarters in Denmark. Participants consisted of 21 adults in their late 50s with conductive or mixed hearing loss. They were tested using three different processors with different maximum outputs: Ponto Pro, Ponto 3, and Ponto 3 SuperPower. Participants were tasked with listening to and repeating sentences heard through background noise, while an eye-tracking camera monitored their pupil dilation, an established measurement of listening effort wherein the pupil dilates in direct relation to the amount of listening effort expended. Our researchers compared the performance of the subjects using each device and noted a sizeable decrease in listening effort and retention with use of the Ponto 3 SuperPower as indicated by reduced pupil dilation as compared to the Ponto Pro and the regular Ponto 3. This supports the idea that higher power hearing systems allows wearers to comprehend speech with significantly less effort.  

What it all means to you

The evidence is in that direct sound transmission through a Ponto system with a higher maximum output offers far more than the ability to hear better. When worn implanted on an abutment, these powerful BAHS let you learn 2.5 times faster — especially important for school-age wearers. They improve ability to remember by 13 percent, which offers an advantage to older wearers who might have memory concerns in general. And they require wearers to expend less listening effort to keep up with conversations, reducing the fatigue associated with difficulty straining to hear and understand speech daily. Ready to try your first Ponto BAHS or upgrade to our latest Ponto model? Click below to get in touch with an audiologist in your area who can help you choose the best option for your hearing needs.

Find a clinic

Click the button if you want to learn more about our Ponto bone anchored hearing systems or arrange a trial.

 

[1] Pittman, A. L. (2019) Bone conduction amplification in children: Stimulation via a percutaneous abutment vs. a transcutaneous softband. Ear Hear. 
[2] Lunner, T., Rudner, M., Rosenbom, T., Ågren, J., and Ng, E.H.N. (2016) Using Speech Recall in Hearing Aid Fitting and Outcome Evaluation Under Ecological Test Conditions. Ear Hear 37 Suppl 1: 145S-154S.
[3]  Bianchi, F., Wendt, D., Wassard, C., Maas, P., Lunner, T., Rosenbom, T., and Holmberg, M. (2019) Benefit of higher maximum force output on listening effort in bone-anchored hearing system users: a pupillometry study. Ear Hear.