TTWCP-854-02 Medical tech for Aging Population, Dr. Laurel Christensen PhD. of Resound: Dr. Laurel Christensen PhD., Chief Audiology Officer of Resound


On This Episode…

Laurel A. Christensen, Ph.D. is the Chief Audiology Officer for GN ReSound Group. In this role she leads a global team of 26 audiologists that are responsible for all aspects of audiology for the company including new product trials, audiology input to marketing, and global audiology relations which encompasses training and product support to subsidiaries world-wide. Previously, she was a tenured Associate Professor on the faculty at Louisiana State University Medical Center and part of the Kresge Hearing Research Laboratory in New Orleans, LA. In addition to her position at GN ReSound, she holds adjunct faculty appointments at Northwestern and Rush Universities. She served as an Associate Editor for both Trends in Amplification and the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research. Currently, she is on the board of the American Auditory Society and is a member of the advisory board for the Au.D. program at Rush University. Christensen received her Master’s degree in clinical audiology in 1989 and her Ph.D. in audiology in 1992, both from Indiana University.

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TTWCP-854-Laurel Christensen

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.


Laurel Christensen – ReSound

Airing Date: February 20, 2016


Craig Peterson: There are millions of people throughout the country that have hearing problems. And, well I can tell you in my family, it goes back generations. It seems to be kind of something that I have to look forward to, I suppose, as I get a little older. Well, there are new technologies that can make it much, much easier. We’re in a very noisy environment on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show and it can be very difficult for someone with hearing aids to be able to differentiate sounds, listening on a conversation in a loud room. Well there is some great technology we’re gonna talk about right now from ReSound with Dr. Laurel Christiansen. Welcome Laurel.

Laurel Christensen: Thank you. Nice to be here.

Craig: So you have some new technology that’s designed to, not only, work with your iPhone and your Apple watch, and I love your watch by the way. But it really can help dramatically with sounds and be able to distinguish.

Laurel: Absolutely. Resound LiNX2, it’s not only really the smartest hearing aid there is today, but the most beneficial. You know, it’s really our goal for you to be able to put that into your ears and very, very transparently go through your life and hear anything. You’re right. This is a very difficult situation           but with directional microphones on the hearing aids and then things that we can do through the app. And even through the app on the Apple Watch, we can actually use directional microphones to zoom in on what you wanna hear. Be able to localize what you wanna hear so very beneficial hearing aids where you can hear in most environments that you’ll go into.

Craig: Well. I’m holding in my hand right now. And a very, very, very small, much about half the size of the tip of my finger as we’re looking at. So they’re getting smaller and smarter as well.

Laurel: Absolutely. I say these are not your grandfather’s hearing aids.

Craig: Yeah.

Laurel: They are tiny. They’re invisible. They don’t whistle. And they work. And they work very, very well. And hearing, you know, hearing is something that is part of life. You have to hear to have a good quality of life.

Craig: Right.

Laurel: And hearing, more and more, have become associated with things like dementia and depression and so, you know, you need to wear a hearing aid.

Craig: Right.

Laurel: And with a hearing aid you’ll be able to, like I said, move through your world and hear in any environment that you go into.

Craig: Well it’s a difficult world. I’d hate myself to not be able to hear or not hear very well. And I remember my grandfather’s hearing aid. He wore around his neck, right. There was big box like a big old AM transistor radio.

Laurel: Yeah. Those are body aids and those are long gone.

Craig: Yeah, thank goodness.

Laurel: Those didn’t provide a lot of benefit whereas a hearing aid the Resound LiNX2, you know, it provides benefit in quiet environments, it provides benefits in a place like the CES show. Very noisy environments. But, you know, now with the addition of connectivity. We have little accessories that you can put on the TV and stream the TV wireless to your hearing aids. Everything from your iPhone streamed wirelessly to your hearing aids. We make small microphones that someone can wear, a companion can wear. Going into a really noisy restaurant, it will stream everything that your companion says right to your ears. So, like I said, you can go from environment to environment and hear. Even outside. The hearing aid you’re holding has wind noise reduction. So you can go outside and be, you know, sailing or golfing and you can even adjust on the app how much wind control you have on the hearing aid. So, again, our goal really is to help people hear in every environment they can go into. Not just be able to hear in quiet wearing the old body aid like your grandfather.

Craig: Yeah. So what point does someone need to really start looking at their hearing and the health of their ears? And as they get older, right, is there all of a sudden I can’t hear you anymore? Go get your ears checked or…

Laurel: You know you said it’s something that a lot of us have to look forward to as we get older.

Craig: Right.

Laurel: I mean it’s just part of aging where we lose some of our hearing. You know the average age of someone who actually goes and gets help is around the age of 70. Which is about 7 years before people probably need to. So the best advice is when you start to notice that it’s hard to hear people. When you start to notice you’re not hearing in a noisy environment, you need to get your hearing tested.

Craig: Right.

Laurel: And understand that, you know, there are teeny tiny little hearing aids. No stigma anymore that really, really work, and you don’t have to put off, you know, the isolation, you know. I know people who are hearing impaired that don’t wear their hearing aids. And you know how every party in the house ends up in the kitchen.

Craig: Right.

Laurel: The hearing impaired person end up in the living room because they just can’t hear anything and they walk away and your life just doesn’t have to be like that so really, anytime you start to feel like you’re missing some things, it is probably the time to get your hearing tested and do something about it.

Craig: Well, ReSound, I don’t know if you pronounced it resound, Is that the best place to find out about the LiNX2 or?

Laurel: Absolutely.

Craig: Alright. Makes it easy. Appreciate you being with us today.

Laurel: Thanks. Thanks for having us.

Craig: When, by the way is it available? Is it available now?

Laurel: It is available now. This is actually our 2nd Generation of kinda made for iPhone and connectivity wireless hearing aid.

Craig: Right.

Laurel: So, yeah. So it is available now.

Craig: And I noticed too that it has, kind of a clear canal coming off of it. The idea there that it’s almost invisible I imagine.

Laurel: Yeah, it’s completely. I mean, you can’t even tell they’re on. That thin tube just kind of runs down the side of your ear and then a very small open dome usually is what connects it into your ear. So it also lets you, most people lose their hearing, lose their high frequency hearing not their low frequency hearing. So an open fitting like this lets the low frequencies just come in but the high frequencies are amplified then made louder through the hearing aid.

Craig: Very, very nice. Again if you’d like to find out a little bit more, it’s called the LiNX2. Thanks for being with us.

Laurel: Thanks.