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 To: Cc: kathi mestayer Dr. Cassell: 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... k Kathi Mestayer Author, Be Hear Now on HearingAidsRCool Blog Twitter

1 comment:

Jason Strong said...

I grew up with 4 deaf cousins and all of the used hearing aids. It's been cool to see how these amazing pieces of technology have changed their lives. I'm grateful that we have them for all that they do.