hearing aid design/standardisation/ergonomics

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: hearing aid design/standardisation/ergonomics
Posted by:  Ken (kkerris…@ozemail.com.au)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008

Someone recently suggested that, for BTE aids, the switch was now,
universally, combined with the battery door. This is the case with the
last hearing aid I bought (a Phonak). And I wondered to what extent
this and other features are becoming standardised.
For instance, my last set of Phonaks needed a remote control to access
the four or so programs available. My current one enables the user to
page through all programs by pressing one button on the aid. Volume is
raised or lowered by pushing a lever in the desired direction. My CI
has a similar regime for programs (though adjusting volume or mike
sensitivity is more dire).
In my experience, changing hearing aids is infrequent - 5 - 10 years
or so. So standardisation is not important there.
But if a particular design idea (such as substituting battery doors
for mechanical switches) represents progress then it might be adopted
industry-wide. The same with single-button program selection.
There has never been much (any) discussion in this group of ergonomic
aspects of hearing aid design. My experience is limited to Phonak
hearing aids and Cochlear CIs.
I would be interested in the experience/views of others, particularly
with other brands.