I was excited to be asked to write a blog post about the Phonak automatic classification system AutoSense OS, because, frankly, it’s easy to write about something that excites you. At the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC), we have many technologies coming through our doors that we are asked to investigate. AutoSense OS has been different, because it combines all of the best Phonak capabilities. It is the brain— the conductor that orchestrates the other programs, features, and algorithms in accordance with the environment.
What does this mean for a hearing aid user?
Typically, automatic systems revolve around the common theme of “convenience”. However, at PARC, we have seen that automatic systems are not just a convenience. They are essential. Particularly, a sophisticated automatic system is essential because we have seen that automatic capability directly impacts hearing performance. Throughout the process of testing the automatics of Phonak and other manufacturers, we have seen there is more at stake than just convenience.
Why is this the case, and why is a sophisticated automatic system essential? Firstly, we know that hearing aid users do not want to change hearing aid programs, nor are they always reliable at doing so, even with one manual noise program. Then, when you consider the wide array of acoustically-optimized programs available in hearing aids, it becomes apparent why an automatic program is a necessity to allow a hearing aid user to take advantage of the full repertoire of programs. Also, AutoSense OS utilizes a sophisticated blending behavior that allows the hearing aid to combine a number of programs to accurately reflect all acoustic nuances and characterizations in the surrounding environment. This blending could never be achieved by a manual push button. Therefore, AutoSense OS always ensures the hearing aid user is in not only the correct program, but on a deeper level of processing, always ensures the algorithms enabled are steered and activated to the strength that best optimizes the listening experience.
With this powerful technology, hearing aid users experience the convenience provided by an automatic program, with the comfort in knowing that there is no sacrifice in listening performance. For even more insight, you can read an article that describes it in more detail.