One in six people have a hearing problem
Worldwide there are several hundred million people who suffer from hearing loss. Experts believe that in the western industrialised countries alone, about 15% of the population have a hearing problem. However, up to now relatively few of those affected wear a hearing aid.
There are many reasons for this, and they are easily understandable:
- Hearing loss is often a gradual process; many of those affected have never had a hearing test and don’t know that a hearing aid could help them.
- Many of those people who are affected do not know who they should turn to. The health system in many countries is such that for months hearing impaired people have to have investigations carried out by doctors, hearing aid acousticians, health insurance companies and social insurance agencies until they get a hearing aid.
- Those who spend a great deal of time and effort to obtain hearing aids are often put off by the high prices; in Europe and North America, hearing aids cost up to EUR 4,000 each.
Alternative distribution as a way out
To realize the business potential requires a new way of thinking. In the future, those providers and points-of-sale which enable those affected to obtain a quality hearing aid easily, quickly and conveniently will profit. Hearing tests and hearing aids must be available at places where people go with their health questions. And depending on the conditions specific to the country concerned, these places are either pharmacies, chemists shops, medical supplies stores or opticians.