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iHear Medical announced its plans to introduce advanced web-enabled hearing aids for the China market by partnering with Beijing-based AIER, China’s largest dedicated hearing solution provider. The distribution agreement with AIER was announced by Adnan Shennib, president and CEO of iHear Medical, at the China Medtech Partnering (CMP-2015) Conference in Suzhou, China. iHear Medical’s web-enabled digital technology offers programmable hearing solutions at a fraction of the cost and in a smaller form-factor for invisible wear. While 95% of individuals with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids, less than 5% of the hearing impaired in China currently use hearing aids due to persisting barriers including the high cost of advanced hearing devices and the stigma associated with wearing a visible hearing aid.
“We are excited to partner with AIER to offer Chinese consumers affordable and accessible hearing solutions, featuring superior sound quality and innovative web-enabled tools,” said Adnan Shenib. “At iHear Medical, we are passionate about what we do, and dedicated to solving complex technology, marketing and distribution challenges to improve hearing health worldwide.”
In addition to offering hearing solutions at a dramatically lower cost and inconspicuous wear, the iHEAR® system revolutionizes the dispensing process by offering online tools for consumers to fine tune their prescription from the convenience of their home. iHear Medical’s products are expected to launch in China exclusively through AIER hearing aid centers in Q4 2016. Product launch in the United States is expected in Q1 2016.
Hearing loss is a global problem of epidemic proportions. Hearing impairment typically goes undiagnosed, and those who are affected often exhibit denial, confusion, or personality changes. Low cost hearing aids currently available are ineffective for treating the complexities of individual hearing loss. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 5% of the world’s population, or approximately 360 million people, suffer from a disabling level of hearing loss worldwide, and about 70 million of them are in China. WHO also reports the current production of hearing aids meets less than 10% of the global need. A disabling level of impairment refers to a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more.
About AIER (爱耳时代 )
AIER is the largest dedicated hearing solution platform in China. AIER’s one stop retail dispensing model offers a high level of audiological services currently serving major cities in China, and with plans for opening over 100 additional stores in the next 3 years. AIER also provides online education for hearing professionals and patients. AIER is a venture-backed firm and recognized as the premier hearing solution provider in China employing certified hearing professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.audonline.cn.
About iHear Medical
iHear Medical is a venture-backed firm dedicated to addressing the global need for affordable and accessible hearing solutions. iHear Medical’s new products and business models are intended to break through persisting barriers preventing people with hearing loss from acquiring and using hearing aids. iHear Medical is pioneering web-enabled hearing solutions and was founded by Adnan Shennib, who has started and led the development at several Silicon Valley firms, including InSound Medical, which was acquired by Sonova-Phonak in 2010 in a deal totaling $169M. For more information on iHear Medical, visit: http://www.ihearmedical.com
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