The hearing aid, which will cost about the same as traditional hearing aids, is made up of two parts. The first is the mouth unit, which fits snugly into the mouth with the aid of two hooks used traditionally by dentists to fit temporary crowns. The second part is an external unit, which connects wirelessly to the hearing aid and can fit into another item, like jewelry, a smart card, a cell phone, or a device the size of an MP3 player.
According to CEO Eyal Aharon, Audiodent’s hearing aid offers better sound quality. Because the control device is external and larger in size than current hearing aids, users can manage it easily. “You can wear it around your neck, put it in your pocket, or on the table,” says Aharon.
The sound resonates inside the head, not from the ears. This is bone-transmitted sound, with the teeth acting as a path to the skull bone. The vibrations of sound travel straight to the cochlear canal in the inner ear and shake the auditory nerve floating in lymph.
The company was founded by three dentists, who started playing with the idea of a hearing aid in the mouth because their patients complained that the noise of the drill was so loud inside their heads. Other potential applications include plans to use the external unit within cell phones to create mobile phones for the hearing impaired. They have also developed and patented a miniature battery with low-energy consumption that can be used inside the device for 24 hours.
For more information: P.O. Box 3010, Omer Industrial Park, Israel; Tel: 972-077-300-1939; firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Nicky Blackburn, Israel21c.com
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