“Earlens has provided me with a level of sound that is incredibly natural. I’m hearing things that I haven’t heard in 30 years. I’m hearing the timbre of people’s voices and the subtleties of conversation in background.” – Scott Gold, MD, Otolaryngologist and Earlens wearer
Hearing professionals don’t often hear patients who love the sound quality they get from their hearing devices, but that can change with the new Earlens(R) Contact Hearing Solution. In a recent user experience evaluation, 96% of patients were ‘Satisfied’ to ‘Delighted’ with their first fit experience, and 91% of participants indicated that they ‘would recommend Earlens to a close friend or relative.’ These levels of patient satisfaction are nearly unheard of in the hearing industry, but have important implications in an age where practices are seeking to secure patient loyalty in the face of increasing competition.
In January of 2019, Earlens received FDA clearance for a novel sound transmission platform using resonant inductive coupling to directly drive the eardrum. In the new Earlens solution, sound is digitally processed in the behind–the–ear Processor and transmitted as an ultra-low power radio signal by the Ear Tip. This radio signal carries high fidelity audio data and power via a resonant inductive link to a custom Tympanic Lens, which drives the umbo of the malleus on the surface of the tympanic membrane, transmitting vibratory energy to the cochlea via the ossicular chain.
Earlens recently conducted early user experience testing with the new Inductive Contact Hearing Solution at sites across the United States. The testing permitted 158 Earlens users and more than 25 providers to work with, fit and experience the new system in the real world for a minimum of 30 and as long 180 days. Multiple dimensions of patient and provider experience were assessed at timepoints throughout the user experience testing. At the initial fitting, participants were surveyed regarding their satisfaction with the clinical experience, physical comfort, fitting and calibration process, acute listening experience and the ability of the audiologist to address any sound quality concerns. At the 30-day follow-up visit, patients completed questionnaires evaluating their satisfaction with various contributors to their overall outcome, including the ease and convenience of the fitting process, perceived benefit, sound quality, ease of use, overall listening performance and perceived value.
96% of respondents reported that they were ‘Satisfied’, ‘Very satisfied’, or ‘Delighted’ with the fitting experience and 81% indicated that acute custom Ear Tip fit was ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’. At 30 days, 82% of participant responses were ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Very satisfied’, and 0 responses were ‘Very dissatisfied’. Moreover, 84% indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall benefit to their hearing performance.
Provider feedback was similarly positive, with both physician and audiologist providers strongly agreeing with the value proposition of the Earlens system, recognizing that patient satisfaction and perceived benefit were high, such that 96% of clinician respondents indicated that the perceived value and benefit of the Earlens system justifies the retail price to the patient.
For more patient outcomes with the Earlens Contact Hearing Solution, read Levy and Dundas, “Patient and Provider Experiences with the Inductive Earlens Contact Hearing Solution.”