Welcome to the Oticon Podcast Program

In this series, Don Schum presents short, five to ten minute audio presentations on a variety of topics that define the Oticon approach to hearing care. These presentations aim to provide important glimpses into the way we work to create solutions and support for your patients.





Season 8: Fall 2020:

The Role of New Technologies in the Hearing Aid World

We are witnessing a rapid pace of new technologies moving from other areas of business, communications and health care into our field. Many of these new technologies offer great promise for our field, but along with great expectations also comes the need to examine which of these technologies can offer true new levels of benefit for our patients. In this season, we will talk about the professional issues involved in the decision to embrace new technical possibilities.


S8E1: Finding a Balance    |   Listen to S8E1
Throughout any health care professional’s life, new opportunities will emerge as new technologies allow for change in patient care. And right now, hearing health care is seeing an explosion of new possibilities. But not every new technique is or should necessarily be adopted without careful consideration of the costs and benefits of adoption.

S8E2: TeleAudiology    |   Listen to S8E2
The COVID‑19 challenge pushed TeleAudiology to the forefront of everyone’s mind. But what will happen once the hearing health care field gets back to normal over the next year? Now is the time for all hearing health care providers to actively decide how distance care techniques can be worked into day‑to‑day practice.

S8E3: Sensors in Hearing Aids    |   Listen to S8E3
Sensors have become widespread in wearable consumer technologies. And these small, low-cost and energy-efficient data gatherers have started to show up in hearing aids. The important questions that need to be discussed revolve around how much hearing benefit can they provide for our patients. Are they a fad or do they offer true care benefits?

S8E4: The Use of Big Data in Hearing Care   |   Listen to S8E4
Many areas of health care have found ways to improve patient treatment by accumulating data from patients across the country and even across the world. Their knowledge of the effectiveness of different approaches becomes multiplied many times over when a provider can rely not just on their own experience but on the experience of hundreds or thousands of other professionals. But Big Data approaches have yet to gain a solid foothold in our field.

S8E5: Cloud Computing for Hearing Aids   |   Listen to S8E5
Despite the advances in the processing power of the digital platforms imbedding in modern hearing aids, there are still times when more processing power is required. And that is where Cloud Computing comes in, where the signal processing, data storage or other digital functions can take place. Despite the potential, the possibilities of Cloud Computing have yet to be fully described in our field.


S8E6: The World of Artificial Intelligence   |   Listen to S8E6
Artificial Intelligence is a big, broad term that means many different things to many different people. Understanding what this term and several associated terms mean is essential for the professional to truly understand the role in our field.

S8E7: Deep Neural Networks   |   Listen to S8E7
One of the most powerful tools in the world of AI are Deep Neural Nets (DNNs). These processors approach the task of extracting useful information from large amounts of data in a new and unique way. DNNs offer the ability to improve our solutions to some of the most vexing problems faced by hearing aid users. This technology has transformed many other fields. Will it transform hearing health care?

S8E8: Monitoring the Brain   |   Listen to S8E8
The job of hearing aids is to feed the brain the information that it needs to allow the user to best understand speech in challenging situations. The question is, can these solutions be improved if the hearing aid knew what the brain was thinking? We are closer to that day than you may think.

S8E9: A Vision of It All Coming Together   |  Listen to S8E9
With all of these new possibilities, what will the hearing aid of the future look like? How will the industry raise the bar on patient benefit by incorporating these new approaches? Our research center, Eriksholm, is busy looking towards that future.

S8E10: Looking Forward   |   Listen to S8E10
We started the season talking about what it takes for a professional to decide to adopt a new approach into daily practice. As we look forward, we simply have to expect even more changes in the areas of wireless connectivity platforms, battery technologies, AI‑based signal processing, etc. With so many focused on what low‑cost OTC products may mean for our field, perhaps one alternative is to focus on what new technologies can mean…to the patient dealing with a complex medical condition.


Season 7: Summer 2020:

The Aging System

It is essential for all clinicians to understand the nature of the condition that they treat. The majority of hearing aid users are older adults. In addition to the effects of hearing loss, these patients are also dealing with the effects of normal, age‑related changes in the central nervous system. This season is designed to take a deeper dive into how the combination of hearing loss and aging will affect the perceptual processes experienced by the older patient.


S7E1: What is Aging?    |   Listen to S7E1
There are many theories of aging. We are not in the business of altering that path. We are in the business of assisting the patient to make best use of the function that remains.

S7E2: Age‑related Hearing Loss: What Changes?    |   Listen to S7E2
The effects of aging can affect the body in many different ways. When focusing specifically on the auditory system, the same analysis applies.

S7E3: How Good is the Older Ear?    |   Listen to S7E3
In the presence of the physical changes that come along with age‑related hearing loss, it is important to recognize what the altered peripheral auditory system can and cannot do.

S7E4: What Changes in the Older Brain?  |   Listen to S7E4
Speech understanding happens in the brain. With that in mind, we take a look at what age-related cortical changes we can expect in older individuals.

S7E5: The Older Brain in Action  |   Listen to S7E5
The physical changes that come along with aging inevitably will affect how effective the brain can be when performing complex processing tasks.


S7E6: Models of Speech Understanding   |   Listen to S7E6
Speech understanding is not a passive process by which acoustic information is automatically turned into meaning. A variety of processes are activated to turn the signal coming up from the periphery into a message.

S7E7: We Are All Mind Readers   |   Listen to S7E7
To appreciate the cognitive nature of speech understanding, you do not have to look much further than how a listener actually listens while a sentence unfolds.

S7E8: The Older Listener Under a Time Crunch   |   Listen to S7E8
One of the best ways to see the effects of aging on the speech perception process is force the system to process information at an increased pace.

S7E9: Attention in the Aging Perceptual System   |  Listen to S7E9
The world is full of sensory stimulation. Organizing the world of sound and focusing on what is important is a key job of the cognitive system.

S7E10: The Mind-Body Connection   |   Listen to S7E10
People understand that their bodies age. Their reaction to the physical and functional changes will determine whether or not they will be ready to accept amplification as part of their life.


Season 6: Winter 2020:

Talking Technology with Patients

It is essential for the hearing care professional to understand the technology that they recommend. But, equally important, is the ability to talk about these technologies to the patients and loved ones. Patients enter the process with a range of pre-conceived ideas about the world of hearing aids. In this season, we will discuss different approaches to discussing amplification with patients in order to keep the patient moving towards making a positive decision about their hearing health care.


S6E1: The Big Picture    |   Listen to S6E1
A communication approach that is rapidly becoming a classic is to start with the Why and the What and, if done successfully, avoids the need to get bogged down in the How. Far too often, discussions with patients get down to details that quickly obscure the bigger picture of the struggles the patient is facing and the solutions you would recommend.

S6E2: Making the Patient Ready    |   Listen to S6E2
We have developed a framework of the types of classic behaviors that patients will exhibit when approaching the hearing aid process. Understanding the key differences in the behavior patterns is essential in planning your discussion with the patient.

S6E3: The Potential Danger with the Willing Patient    |   Listen to S6E3
Some patients show up who seem ready and willing to get the process started. Often they are armed with a lot of internet-based information. But being Willing may not be the same as truly being Ready, and the difference can potentially derail the process.

S6E4: The Conflicted Patient   |   Listen to S6E4
Denial is one of the most common reaction patterns in adults who have acquired hearing loss. In order to help this patient move forward, it is important to understand the source of the conflict and help the patient change the narrative.

S6E5: Recognizing Normalization   |   Listen to S6E5
Aging is a fact of life. So much so that some patients may be so resigned to age-related body change that they lose the passion for good hearing. Rekindling this passion is key to helping these patients move forward.


S6E6: Suspicion   |   Listen to S6E6
Since a significant number of hearing aids that are dispensed in this country include a transactional element, there is a natural tendency for some patients to be a wary consumer. Building trust is a key component to help these patients continue down the path towards better hearing.

S6E7: The Engineer   |   Listen to S6E7
We have all had them. We have all struggled with them. The patient who is an engineer. They may be well versed on various aspects of sound and signal processing, but they often miss one key element in understanding what leads to successful adaptation to amplification.

S6E8: The Value of Demos   |   Listen to S6E8
A common practice used by many hearing care professionals is the use of a demo fitting before the patient commits to a permanent fitting. Lately, we have been digging into the details of how this technique is being used and how effective it actually is.

S6E9: The Language of the Patient   |  Listen to S6E9
Over the years, we have developed language that we believe is key to help describe modern hearing aid technology in terms that make intuitive sense to the prospective user.

S6E10: Speaking to the Need   |   Listen to S6E10
Across all the different patient types and all the different situations described in this season, one element is common: the patient is struggling with communication. Having the patient verbalize their core need and discuss the impact is the single best approach to move them forward in a positive direction.


Season 5: Fall 2019:

A Deep Dive into Oticon Technology

To bring the best care to patients, you need the best technologies. Over the years, Oticon has shown a commitment to developing cutting edge technologies designed to bring the best signal processing to your patients. In this season of the Oticon Podcast Program, we will examine the key elements that make these technologies stand out.


S5E1: What are Brain Hearing technologies?   |   Listen to S5E1
Brain Hearing is our approach to developing solutions. But what makes a technology a Brain Hearing technology?

S5E2: Platforms matter   |   Listen to S5E2
Creating effective signal processing for digital audio signals requires a powerful engine. Over the years, we have placed great emphasis on developing platforms that make best sense for the approaches we want to bring to your patients.

S5E3: Our signature technology: Open Sound Navigator™    |   Listen to S5E3
Years of research and development went into creating a groundbreaking approach to the problem of communicating in complex environments. Open Sound Navigator shows what happens when you combine a powerful engine with great thinking.

S5E4: Using the binaural system: Spatial Sound™   |   Listen to S5E4
At the core of our Brain Hearing approach is the determination to provide the cognitive system the best information that we can. Binaural information is a powerful tool to help the listener handle complex situations.

S5E5: Compression without compromise: Speech Guard™   |   Listen to S5E5
The speech signal is a complex, multi-layered source of information for the cognitive system. It is incumbent on signal processing to best reproduce that signal in the purest form possible.


S5E6: Protecting audibility, protecting openness: Open Sound Optimizer™   |   Listen to S5E6
Acoustic feedback has long been a side effect of all amplifying systems, limiting the effectiveness of the patient’s solution. Open Sound Optimizer effectively attacks the problem in a new and unique way.

S5E7: Transitioning the patient to the world of amplified sound   |   Listen to S5E7
Most hearing loss comes on gradually. Transitioning the patient to the world of amplified sounds takes the right tools and features in products.

S5E8: Treating severe & profound hearing loss   |   Listen to S5E8
Oticon has a long heritage in creating industry-leading solutions for patients with the most hearing loss. And our approaches improve with every new generation of products.

S5E9: Capturing the high frequencies   |   Listen to S5E9
Getting the full bandwidth of the speech signal to the patient has always been a challenge. Understanding how to best capture and present high frequency information to patients with hearing loss requires the right technology and the right thinking.

S5E10: The future? Plan on it!   |   Listen to S5E10
Our investment in research and development for the next several generations of hearing aid technology is unmatched in the industry. And we can already see glimpses of what that future can look like.



Season 4: Summer 2019:

Managing New Fittings: Stop-Start-Continue


When Season 3 came to an end, the point was made that sometimes the success of a fitting, especially for new users, comes down to getting the details right. Sometimes it is the details of the fitting, but also sometimes it is the details of patient counseling. In this season, will we discuss the best ideas that we have generated as a company to maximize the opportunity for success. We all fall into habits, but sometimes there is value in stepping back and taking a fresh look.


S4E1: Getting Off on the Right Foot   |   Listen to S4E1
At the end of Season 2, we talked about the difference between the Fitting Session and the Fitting. For most new hearing aid users, the loss develops over a number of years. Becoming a successful hearing aid user is not an instantaneous transformation.

S4E2: Gathering the Right Kind of Information   |   Listen to S4E2
Although it seems self-evident, before you can solve a patient’s problems, you need to understand them. The ability of the patient to verbalize their observations sometimes can be tricky.

S4E3: Setting Expectations   |   Listen to S4E3
Despite the widespread surfing behavior on the part of new users, patients and family members can often have expectations that do not always align with what will likely actually happen. We have some ideas that may help.

S4E4: X’s and O’s   |   Listen to S4E4
Despite great strides in digital signal processing, there are still some basic physical and acoustical factors that simply have to be done the right way. A great fitting can go awry if some simple basic techniques are not addressed.

S4E5: Let’s Talk About Targets   |   Listen to S4E5
Targets are a great place to start a fitting. But perhaps too often hitting targets are seen as the end goal of a fitting. And that belief is not consistent with what we know about human perception in the presence of hearing loss. 


S4E6: Programs, Programs, Programs   |   Listen to S4E6
There was once a time when loading up the hearing aid with multiple programs was an important new development. But the ability of adaptive signal processing has made that approach unnecessary except in certain situations.

S4E7: The Personal Response to Sound   |   Listen to S4E7
Modern hearing aids allow for modifications on a multitude of dimensions. Finding the right match between device flexibility and patient needs or preferences requires a high level of insight on the part of the HCP.

S4E8: Reports versus Problems   |   Listen to S4E8
Most patients finally get over their resistance and take the step into the world of hearing aids based on some specific difficulties that they face. In follow-up, it becomes important to make sure the discussions focus on the specific needs that make the most difference to the patient.

S4E9: What to Adjust?   |   Listen to S4E9
As hearing aid technology has developed, so has our understanding about which adjustments make the most difference to patient perception. Fine tuning strategies that made sense 15 or 20 years ago may need to be refreshed.

S4E10: Meeting in the Middles   |   Listen to S4E10
Getting a fitting right means balancing factors along a multitude of dimensions. Some of the concerns stem from the HCPs desire to meet certain audiological standards. But the patient’s agenda may be different. At the end of the day, the goal is the same: to allow the patient to be a successful hearing aid user. 



Season 3: Spring 2019:

The Oticon Approach to Special Fitting Populations


When Season 2 came to an end, a question was posed as to how hearing care professionals could distinguish themselves as the very knowledgeable caregiver. In this season, we will discuss our thoughts about how to approach challenging adult clinical populations – those patients who present with an auditory profile that is more complex than the typical patient. The material will be based on an examination of the assumptions we use when fitting hearing aids and, most importantly, the limits of those assumptions.


S3E1: Assumptions about Prescribed Fittings   |   Listen to S3E1
Standard fitting approaches are built on a foundation of assumptions. How those assumptions shape our fitting approaches deserve a second look. 

S3E2: Ski Fittings: Examining the Situation   |   Listen to S3E2
The most common special population is ski-slope hearing loss. Digging into the nature of this classification shines a spotlight on our standard fitting assumptions. 

S3E3: Ski Fittings: Fitting Ideas   |   Listen to S3E3
At Oticon, we have used a specific approach to these fittings for over 20 years. We will explain our thinking.

S3E4: Rising Audiograms: Fitting Ideas   |   Listen to S3E4
Although not common, these patients require a significant change in fitting mindset.

S2E5: Irregular Audiograms: Fitting Ideas   |   Listen to S3E5
We fit to usable hearing, not to an audiogram. These cases make a very specific point to consider. 


S3E6: Complex Etiologies: Fitting Ideas   |   Listen to S3E6
Patients with complex medical etiologies can have a very poorly performing peripheral auditory system.  But there are opportunities for success.

S3E7: Asymmetrical Hearing Loss: An Alternative Fitting Approach<   |   Listen to S3E7
These cases force us to examine what we actually know about the binaural auditory system in the presence of hearing loss.

S3E8: The Nature of Severe & Profound Hearing Loss   |   Listen to S3E8
Understanding how severe damage will affect the perception of sound is essential to get the most out of the remaining hearing of the patient.

S3E9: Severe Hearing Loss: Fitting Ideas   |   Listen to S3E9
These patients call for some important changes to the way we fit nonlinear amplification. 

S3E10: The Playing Field   |   Listen to S3E10
We round up Season 3 by discussing the mindset of Residual Capabilities.




Season 2: Winter 2018:

The First Time User


In Season 2 we present on the journey of The First Time User


S2E1: The Reaction to Aging   |   Listen to S2E1
Hearing Loss is just one of many potential body changes that occur as adults get older. There are different ways in which a person can react to these changes and understanding the range of reactions is step 1 in being able to help the patient make a positive decision to address their hearing loss. 

S2E2: The Imagery of Hearing Aids   |   Listen to S2E2
Aging can draw out powerful emotions in the adult.  A few years back, we engaged a research group that used a groundbreaking approach to help us better understand what hearing aids mean to the person considering their use. 

S2E3: The Interpersonal Cost of Delay   |   Listen to S2E3
The true effect of hearing loss is not about where a person cannot hear - it is about who they cannot hear.  Hearing loss is a disruptor of relationships, but perhaps this distancing between the patient and friends or family can be exactly the path to a constructive response by the patient.

S2E4: The Cognitive Cost of Delay   |   Listen to S2E4
Emerging evidence over the past several years has shown us that the cost of ignoring hearing loss may be more serious than we used to think.  The natural withdrawal from social & family interactions may have serious implications for the long-term cognitive health of older adults.

S2E5: Changing the Conversation   |   Listen to S2E5
What does it take to help a patient move towards making a positive decision about addressing their hearing difficulties?  It starts with an honest examination of what is really important to them and then continues with developing a plan to move in that direction. 


S2E6: Readiness for Amplification   |   Listen to S2E6
Once a patient agrees to try amplification, it is crucial that they are prepared for the most positive experience possible.  We have some ideas about what it takes to make a patient truly ready to enter the hearing aid world. 

S2E7: Getting the Most Out of the COSI   |   Listen to S2E7
The COSI was a great step forward in the subjective assessment of the effect of amplification.  But there may be more value to this important tool than you may realize.

S2E8: A Good Fitting versus A Good Fitting Session   |   Listen to S2E8
In the long run, the goals of a hearing aid fitting are audiological: the most effective compensation for the impairment as possible.  But the immediate experiences of the patient can set the tone – either positively or negatively – and getting the patient started the right way may involve more factors than just audiological considerations.

S2E9: The First 30 Days   |   Listen to S2E9
The 30-day trial is standard in the hearing aid world, but do we really know what the patient experiences during that first month?  We have dug into the issue and we have some interesting observations to share. 

S2E10: Adapting to the New Identity   |   Listen to S2E10
We wrap up Season 2 by looking forward for the patient – to examine what it will take for the patient to become not just a lifelong user, but even a lifelong advocate for amplification.



Season 1: Fall 2018:

The Oticon Approach to Signal Processing


In Season 1, we present on a variety of topics that describe the Oticon Approach to Signal Processing


S1E1: The Oticon Brain Hearing Approach   |   Listen to S1E1
We have long believed that the role of amplification is to fully support the natural cognitive system.

S1E2: OpenSound Navigator™   |   Listen to S1E2
OSN set a new standard in how complex environments need to be managed and we examine the background of why we created this important approach.

S1E3: The Reality of Complex Environments   |   Listen to S1E3
In order to solve a problem, you need to understand it and we have specific beliefs about the situations that patients struggle in the most.

S1E4: Speech Understanding and Sensorineural Hearing Loss   |   Listen to S1E4
Hearing care is a clinical discipline and all effective treatment must start with a realistic understanding of the condition we treat.

S1E5: The Aging Cognitive System   |   Listen to S1E5
For the older adult, there are important implications of the aging process of the central nervous system that will fundamentally affect the work that hearing care professionals do.


S1E6: What are Patients Really Facing?   |   Listen to S1E6
When patients are seeking help, what sort of assistance are they looking for?

S1E7: How the Cognitive System Organizes the Listening Situation   |   Listen to S1E7
Fundamental to our BrainHearing™ approach is an understanding how perception actually works in complex environments.

S1E8: Piecing Together the Message   |   Listen to S1E8
One of the most impressive functions of the cognitive system is its ability to take incomplete information and create understanding and meaning.

S1E9: The Effort of Listening   |   Listen to S1E9
Listening is not passive, as the listener controls how much effort is worth it.

S1E10: The Best Signal Processor Around   |   Listen to S1E10
We wrap up Season 1 by getting back to a discussion of the power of the human brain in allowing the listener to operate effectively in difficult environments


Technology Videocasts

Technology Videocasts

OpenSound Booster – Oticon Opn S™   |     Watch Video 1
With Opn S, a new Very High setting offers even more help in everyday situations to those patients who need it most. Patients also have the option to select extra support from OpenSound Navigator™, regardless of their pre-defined setting. Whenever patients feel they need an extra boost, they can activate the OpenSound Booster, available in the Oticon ON App.

OpenSound Optimizer™ – Oticon Opn S   |     Watch Video 2
OpenSound Optimizer technology gives you the flexibility to provide up to six additional decibels of gain in an open fitting without the risk of feedback. With optimal gain, open fittings and no feedback, the OpenSound Optimizer brings the open sound experience to the next level for your patients by delivering up to 30% more speech cues to the brain.* This helps improve speech understanding without compromising clarity or sound quality for your patients.

OpenSound Navigator - Oticon Opn Play™   |     Watch Video 3
Oticon Opn Play gives your child 360º access to the world and helps your child differentiate between meaningful sound and irrelevant, disturbing sound. Our OpenSound Navigator technology improves speech understanding in noisy environments and supports incidental learning by giving your child access to multiple speakers in the environment. We developed OpenSound Navigator to allow the child to get the most possible out of the rich world of sound.  

OpenSound Booster – Oticon Opn Play   |     Watch Video 4
With Opn Play, a new Very High setting offers even more help in everyday situations to those children who need it most. Extra support from OpenSound Navigator can be selected, regardless of their pre-defined setting. For a child, it may be when they are worn out after a long day at school, but still need to hear at home.  Some added help is provided through OpenSound Booster, available in the Oticon ON App.

OpenSound Optimizer – Oticon Opn Play   |     Watch Video 5
Children are often unable to attain the prescribed gain due to the risk of feedback.  Hearing care professionals are often restricted in their fitting and forced to make compromises due to the limitations of conventional technology. By amplifying speech with up to 6 dB more in an open fitting or by enabling more stable gain for a closed fitting, Oticon Opn Play provides the brain with up to 25% more speech cues, supporting language development for children with a hearing loss.

ConnectClip – Connectivity Options   |     Watch Video 6
Oticon Opn Play connects seamlessly with modern smartphones and tablets. With the optional ConnectClip, your child’s hearing aids turn into a high-quality headset. This gives your child access to wireless streaming for music, movies, phone calls and more from smartphones, tablets and laptops.



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