Last updated on Apr 12, 2018
The lack of affordable care for those who need hearing aids is a major issue. In fact, it is so widespread, that 77% of people who need a hearing aid don’t get one.
The biggest hurdle for many people suffering from hearing loss is the price of treatment. Most people can’t get the hearing aid that they need because of the expense. Hearing aids cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. With advances in technology in recent years, many don’t understand why an affordable, reliable and comfortable hearing aid can’t be developed. Luckily, one doctor asked the question, and then decided to do something about it.
Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, a Chicago-based ear, nose and throat specialist, was reading a report on the iPhone when he noticed something that surprised him. The individual components that are used to create an iPhone cost less than $200. These parts work together to create flawless sound and even block out background noise for the user. This caused Dr. Cherukuri to ask the question ‘if they can build an iPhone for less than $200, why can’t we make a basic but effective hearing aid for the same amount?’ So that is exactly what he set out to do.
Dr. Cherukuri started out his mission by conducting a quality comparison of several hearing aids and sound amplifiers in the under-$200 range. What he noticed was that most failed to work at amplifying the human voice and instead, just amplified everything. Dr. Cherukuri decided to find a way to get the quality of a custom made hearing aid into a low cost ‘one size fits all’ approach. This was how he developed the MDHearingAid line.
The MDHearingAid line was developed to amplify only the sound of the human voice and to reduce background noise. By using the same idea as the iPhone, Dr. Cherukuri focused on low cost components, so the entire unit could be made for a minimal amount, but at the same time, create a great sound quality. Thanks to the low cost of manufacturing these units, Dr. Cherukuri was then able to pass on the savings on to his clients. This resulted in a low cost line of hearing aids that allows all consumers to have the quality of a customized set with the price of one-size-fits all style.
If Apple can create something as incredible as the iPhone for less than $200, then there is no good reason why that same technology can’t be used to build an affordable hearing aid. Far too many people can’t get treatment for their hearing loss due to lack of affordable options. Dr. Cherukuri saw a hole in the market and he filled it with the MDHearingAid line. By using the iPhone as inspiration, he was able to create a hearing aid that will allow people to get the care they need at a price they can afford.