While Bluetooth is being developed as an assistive technology for those with hearing loss, the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) has stressed that hearings loops, telecoils, RF and IR systems should continue to be used.

 In a statement following its World Congress in Budapest last week, IFHOH highlighted that ‘Auracast’ is not yet available for people with hearing loss, and won’t be for some time.  In the interim, it said telecoils should still be included in hearing aids and current assistive listening systems should still be installed “for the foreseeable future”.

 It also recommended training for audiologists and other hearing health professionals in hearing loops, telecoils and other existing technologies to make sure people can enjoy the benefits of clear sound now.

“We welcome this statement from IFHOH.  It echoes our viewpoint that hearing loops are, and continue to be, life-changing technology for people with hearing loss.”

 Contacta’s Head of Business Development, Ran Meyrav,

 “While Auracast will undoubtedly have much to offer, its abilities are still largely untested and it will take some time yet for it to be widely available, and in enough settings, to benefit the majority of people with hearing loss.

 “Because hearing aids in the UK are issued, largely, by the NHS, replacements are not received for several years.  Add to this to the significant investment people make in purchasing hearing aids privately, and the costs involved in purchasing new Auracast compatible hearing aids and smartphones, and you have several reasons why Bluetooth Auracast technology won’t be adopted for some time.

 “Hearing loops may be ‘old’ technology but that is not the same as ‘outdated’ and we are glad that IFHOH has made this so clear.”