Traditional and alternative distribution
In the past, in most countries in the world hearing aids were sold solely by hearing aid acousticians. For the customer this usually meant after investigations with the doctor visiting an acoustician and starting a process, often lasting months, with wearing one for a trial period, adaptation and adjustment.
Alternatively, for some time now hearing aids can be bought “over the counter”, or OTC. The devices available in this way are often simple hearing aids, which amplify every sound independently of the hearing loss of the person concerned. Compromises in product quality are completely unnecessary, also in the OTC area. For example, Sonetik offers four models of preprogrammed hearing aids, which help in 80% of all cases of age-related slight to moderate hearing loss.
Slight to severe hearing loss
The hearing impaired are often assigned to different consumer segments in terms of the intensity of their hearing loss. A distinction is made between three customer groups or segments. According to this, 5% of those affected suffer from severe hearing loss. 15-20% have moderate to severe hearing loss, while 75% suffer from only a slight to moderate hearing loss. While one in two of those who suffer from severe or moderately severe hearing loss wear a hearing aid, this applies only to one in 20 of those people with a slight to moderate hearing loss. It is for these people in particular that so far the traditional process of provision has made it unnecessarily difficult to overcome the hurdle to buying a hearing aid.