June 13, 2020
Earlens announced they have entered into a strategic agreement with Verily, an Alphabet company, to develop next-generation capabilities for the Earlens® Contact Hearing Solution.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 20 percent of Americans, or 48 million people, report some degree of hearing loss. Yet, research estimates that only 1 in 5 individuals who might benefit from treatment seek help. A major factor in the underutilization of hearing aids is disappointment with the quality and clarity of sound that conventional hearing devices, like acoustic hearing aids and amplifiers, provide. Earlens has developed a novel way to overcome these sound quality limitations by creating sound without an acoustic signal.
“Unlike traditional hearing aids that amplify sound through a speaker, Earlens uses a small lens to vibrate the eardrum, which directly activates the natural hearing process and delivers the broadest bandwidth available today,” said Bill Facteau, Earlens president and chief executive officer. “By combining our complementary sets of expertise, we aim to develop a next-generation hearing solution, as well as explore modalities for monitoring that may address conditions beyond hearing loss.”
Earlens believes Verily’s capabilities make Verily a natural partner as Earlens expands the capabilities and impact of its solutions. While some acoustic hearing aids have announced new AI capabilities and overall wellness benefits, they are typically only worn for part of the day, while the Lens in the Earlens solution remains in the ear at all times.
“Verily’s extensive experience in custom miniaturized, low-power and integrated medical devices uniquely position us to enhance the Earlens solution with a smaller, more efficient and more powerful behind-the-ear device,” said Brian Otis, chief technical officer, Verily. “Earlens is the only hearing solution that places a lens on the eardrum, and by combining our innovative medical, wearable and sensor technologies, we can further revolutionize the industry to support patients dealing with hearing challenges.”