WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Audiotoniq, an Austin, Texas-based company dedicated to providing the latest in hearing-loss technology at a lower cost to consumers, announced the introduction of its first-generation hearing system at the 2011 Hearing Loss Association of America Convention in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 2011.
The Audiotoniq system consists of the innovative Audiotoniq Professional Hearing Test and the revolutionary Audiotoniq Hearing Aid. The testing system will be available first in Austin, Texas, and then will be rolled out to other major Texas markets and eventually nationally. The self-test system is a portable device that will allow greater access to hearing health by providing accurate audiogram and baseline hearing assessments that can be conducted in a variety of settings, such as schools, physician offices and pharmacies. Currently, only 14 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical.
"Audiotoniq has been working on the hearing test system for nearly two years, and we are excited that it is finally coming to fruition," Russ Apfel, founder and CEO of Audiotoniq, said. "The system will make hearing testing easy and affordable, helping to identify any hearing problems for those who might have never planned on getting tested."
The self-test device does not require an operator to administer the test and has wireless connectivity, which allows for results to be printed or sent to an electronic medical record system. The low-cost testing system includes a computer with video instructions and easy-to-follow prompts. Live, online chat capabilities with audiologists and Audiotoniq customer care representatives, as well as live video conferencing, will also be available.
The company's first hearing aid is scheduled to be released in early fall 2011. The personally programmable audio device will cost considerably less than comparable hearing aids currently on the market. It will utilize cutting-edge technology that will allow users to control their hearing aid settings without having to schedule time-consuming appointments with a service provider. Applications have been developed for smart phones that will allow a wide range of adjustment options at the touch of a finger. The hearing aid is also adaptable for use with digital media devices such as MP3 players and contains a re-chargeable lithium ion battery that will last approximately 30 hours between charges.
The Audiotoniq Live Life Log ™, an online journal, allows individuals to examine the impact of their hearing problems—recording, tracking and sharing life experiences and information related to hearing loss. The tool is currently available at www.audiotoniq.com, and will be available as a smart-phone application at a later date.
"When we decided to form Audiotoniq in 2009, we shared a belief that we would offer customers a choice in how they purchased and controlled their hearing aids," Harold Mindlin, vice president of sales and marketing, said. "With this announcement, we are in full motion towards accomplishing that goal."
About 17 percent of American adults (36 million) report some degree of hearing loss, yet only one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.
Since Audiotoniq's inception, engineers and entrepreneurs with the company have been working to develop products and distribution channels that will provide consumers with a new and improved option for hearing aids, enabling people to make on-the-fly adjustments to their hearing aids to better their overall quality of life.
Audiotoniq was founded by Russ Apfel, a 40-year veteran of the semiconductor industry who developed the first single-chip digital signal processor (which also included high-performance analog circuitry). Don Coplin, vice president of operations, comes to the company with more than 35 years of experience in manufacturing technology, product development and program management.
Harold Mindlin, vice president of sales and marketing, has more than 40 years of experience developing marketing strategies and programs in business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.
To learn more about Audiotoniq, please visit www.audiotoniq.com.
In 2009, concerned about the limited availability and high prices of hearing aids, a group of engineers and entrepreneurs formed Audiotoniq to develop unconventional and improved options for consumers with hearing loss. By redesigning the hearing aid industry's current practices, Audiotoniq offers innovative products that realistically fit into the daily lives of consumers at a low cost. www.audiotoniq.com