Semin Hear 2020; 41(01): 037-054
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1701244
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Emerging Technologies, Market Segments, and MarkeTrak 10 Insights in Hearing Health Technology

Brent Edwards
1  National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney Australia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
10 February 2020 (online)

Abstract

Hearing health care is rapidly changing through innovation in technology, services, business models, and product categories. The introduction of hearables and over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids in particular will change the market for hearing help and the role of the hearing care professionals (HCPs). This article focuses on how these products will be differentiated from HCP-fit hearing aids through their ability to address the unmet needs of different consumer segments within the population of people with hearing dysfunction. The unmet hearing needs of each segment are discussed, and the size of each segment estimated, demonstrating a large potential market for hearables and a smaller potential market for hearing aids than has been previously mentioned in the literature. The results from MarkeTrak 10's survey of consumers' attitudes toward an OTC model are reviewed, showing that approximately half of both hearing aid owners and nonowners are uncomfortable doing hearing- and hearing aid–related tasks on their own without the assistance of an HCP and would be unlikely to purchase OTC hearing aids if available today. MarkeTrak data are also shown that demonstrate that the majority of hearing aid and personal sound amplification product owners believe that the HCP helped or would have helped with their hearing devices. Finally, challenges to OTC hearing aids becoming successful are discussed.