Audicus, the first company to offer fully customizable hearing aids online, and a leading provider of hearing aids via telehealth, responded today to the FDA’s proposed rule to establish a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The proposed rule will allow for certain classes of hearing aids to be sold directly to consumers without the need for a fitting from an Audiologist, increasing accessibility to hearing care for the 37.5 million American adults with some form of hearing loss.
“Audicus pioneered the movement in making high quality hearing care more accessible and affordable nearly a decade ago,” said Patrick Freuler, Founder and CEO of Audicus. “We welcome the FDA’s proposed rule to create a class of OTC hearing aids and see it as a milestone towards greater access. This decision could only allow us to further reach those in need of hearing solutions, and deliver life-changing devices to them at a fraction of the cost of traditional channels,” he continued.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Audicus has seen the increased need to provide quality telehealth services, as well as a positive shift in seniors’ attitudes towards technology. In a survey of 330 seniors, Audicus found that 16% have used telemedicine services since the start of the pandemic, as compared to 5% before. Furthermore, 25% of seniors report now making video calls, as compared to 15% before. With this FDA proposal, Audicus recognizes that ongoing support through technology will be even more important for OTC hearing aids.
“We have helped hundreds of thousands of seniors learn about their hearing through our proprietary online hearing assessment and educational programming,” said Freuler, “and we look forward to continuing to provide expert care and support to the millions of seniors who are in need of hearing care.”