Nuheara Limited (ASX: NUH) (Company or Nuheara), transforming the way people hear by creating smart and affordable hearing solutions, welcomes the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first-ever “World Report on Hearing,” released on World Hearing Day.
This report is a call to action by the WHO to make hearing accessible for all. By 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people globally will have some degree of hearing loss. Currently, around 1.5 billion people have some form of hearing loss. If left unaddressed, it can negatively impact many aspects of life: communication; the development of language and speech in children; cognition; education; employment; mental health and interpersonal relationships.
Of those 1.5billion people with some form of hearing loss, more than 1billion fall into the mild category. This is the largest and most under-serviced segment of the hearing market and the one on which Nuheara’s suite of solutions focus on. The mild hearing loss category is growing rapidly – more than all others.
Figure 1: WHO projections of global hearing loss – All hearing loss including mild category, with disabling hearing loss considered moderate or above.
One of the most glaring gaps according to the Report is that up to 83% of people do not use a form of hearing support despite needing it. And this gap is consistently high in all parts of the world. The WHO is calling for strategic government-led planning processes including equitable access to high-quality hearing technologies. Nuheara believes this will be accelerated through innovations in both products and services delivered directly to consumers via its Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) platform.
“This world-first report pinpoints exactly what Nuheara’s mission has been – to make hearing health accessible and affordable,” said Justin Miller, CEO of Nuheara.
“The WHO report specifically states that ‘The number of people living with unaddressed hearing loss and ear diseases is unacceptable and that ‘Governments must act to integrate people-centred ear and hearing care within national health plans for universal coverage.
“We are already doing this with governments around the world from the UK to Australia to ensure our life-changing accessible hearing products are made available on government-funded hearing services programs.
“We’ve always believed – and for the last seven years have been proving – that affordable and accessible hearing solutions should be made available with the lowest barriers possible.
“Hearing service providers and device manufacturers can’t expect to address the gaps in hearing support for disabling hearing loss if at first, we all don’t do a better job of assisting those through the mild to moderate stage. This segment of the hearing market has been underserviced for too long.
“We know the scaled integration of government programs which the WHO is calling for will take time. This is why Nuheara has built a world-leading Direct-to-Consumer hearing platform: to ensure people have access to a hearing test all the way through to product delivery, from the comfort of their own home – without the need for an audiological/clinic visit. And where they can easily purchase hearing solutions that will directly impact their hearing healthcare journey today.
“Our record-breaking increase in DTC sales during COVID – when most of the world’s audiologists have been shuttered – has demonstrated the increasing need for people-centred hearing care across all segments of the hearing market.
“We are seizing this opportunity in the mild hearing loss category and know that, with our proven track record in innovation, we have the ability for DTC expansion in the traditional hearing aid market which services disabling hearing loss.”