Friday, September 18, 2015
email to Dr. Chris Cassle, PCAST (see below) re: hearing aids and PSAPs
From: Kathi Mestayer
Subject: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Question
Date: September 18, 2015 at 11:08:51 AM EDT
Cc: kathi mestayer
The market is broken, but the answer is not to open the floodgates to cheap, ineffective technology, like many of the PSAPs I see on the internet for sale. The problem with this approach is that people buy the cheap devices, and then are disappointed with their performance, esp in noisy situations. That leads to the "dresser-drawer" phenomenon.....the "aids" are in the dresser drawer, and the users don't try anything that might actually help. If the first step doesn't work, the next step doesn't happen. Not a stretch, considering how people are already denying their hearing loss and refusing to treat/mitigate it. "Dad tried aids, but they didn't work. End of story." I hear that a LOT, and that's for actual hearing aids, not PSAPs.
The market may actually be fixing itself, via Costco and others. The aids are made by major mfgrs, and are significantly less expensive than they would be at traditional outlets. And Costco's return policies and customer service are pretty good, from what I've heard from people who have gotten aids there. Must be spotty, simply due to the size of the chain, but audiologists are spotty, too, truth be told.
There are no significant barriers to selling PSAPs. There are only barriers to calling them "hearing aids," per FDA regs. So, PSAP mfgrs are free to market them at will....and are becoming very clever at describing them in terms that give a good picture of what they do, without using the "hearing aid" words. In fact, on Amazon, one PSAP was $109.99 a pair, and advertised that you would Save $2190.00! Compared with what? No hint given. I’ve posted a question online, but no reply yet. This is major snake oil, so please take that into account when tearing down that wall...
Author, Be Hear Now on BeaconReader.com