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Innovating in the AI field for 24 years*

Phonak develops hearing solutions that deliver real-world benefits for people with hearing loss. We are dedicated to advancing sound quality and speech understanding in our hearing aids through continuous technological innovation.

Since 2000, we have been taking hearing care to the next level with artificial intelligence (AI)-based machine learning our hearing devices and solutions. 

Our next generation of AI advancements have focused on not just improving patient outcomes with advancements in speech understanding, but also with technology that improves clinical workflows for hearing care providers. Our new AI dome proposer, found in Target 10.0 is one such innovation, which provides the optimal choice of vent, dome and receiver to the HCP, improving accuracy.  

As AI continues to advance, the field of audiology can anticipate even greater improvements and innovative applications that will benefit both the hearing care professional and their clients. 

Want to delve deeper? Scroll down to learn more about the use of AI in healthcare, hearing care, hearing aids and beyond.

*as of 1/1/2024


What if?

What if we told you that the future of hearing care has already begun? With the breakthrough leaps in chip technology and AI we've made today, we dream up tomorrow. Our next-generation technology will bring everyone closer, instantly bringing clarity to conversation with a hearing experience that connects us to life, each other and the world.

Smiling female doctor gesturing and explaining patient in medical practice

Latest AI advancements transform hearing care

Traditionally, hearing aids have offered static settings, but machine learning has changed the game towards a more dynamic, personalized, and intentional listening experience. While the potential of AI in audiology is undeniable, audiologists might be understandably cautious and have questions as this technology evolves:

  • What is the future of AI in hearing aids and hearing care?

  • How can I learn more about AI-powered hearing aid options?

  • Should I consider AI-enabled features when choosing hearing aids?

Addressing these questions will be critical in ensuring that AI is integrated responsibly and effectively into the field of audiology.

 

 

Videos

Interested in learning more about the future of hearing technology? With a commitment to pushing the boundaries of hearing technology, Phonak is developing next-generation hearing aid features that promise even more personalized and immersive listening experiences. Explore how we are shaping the future of hearing care:

Podcast

How does AutoSense OS benefit your clients? Get the answer to this question and more by listening to this episode with Davina Omisore, Audiology Manager, and Chase Smith, Sales Audiology Manager. For over 75 years, Phonak has developed innovative technologies that improve speech understanding and sound quality. Get a deeper insight into our evidence-based features to offer your clients the best hearing performance in every listening situation. 

AutoSense™ OS 5.0

Our automatic operating system has been trained with artificial intelligence-based machine learning to accurately identify a sound environment.

Worldof Hearing Products

Leveraging AI to enhance client experience

Phonak empowers your clients to hear their best with 24 years of experience in AI-based machine learning. AutoSense™ OS 6.0, available in Phonak Infinio hearing aids, is one example of AI-based machine learning that delivers benefits for your clients:

  • AutoSense OS 6.0, orchestrates SmartSpeech Technology, which delivers a combination of features for optimal speech understanding and reduced listening effort
  • Phonak Audéo Sphere™ Infinio is the world’s first hearing aid with a dedicated AI chip for sound processing 

  • Spheric Speech Clarity, found in Audéo Sphere, provides instant speech separation from noise all around - with an unprecedented 10dB SNR improvement*1

*at 0 degrees with maximum feature strength compared to omni

Infinio highlights:

  • Exceptional sound quality from the first moment
  • Designed for reliability and durability, proven to withstand the challenges of everyday life
  • New, powerful, ultra-responsive ERA chip provides uninterrupted hands-free calls and streaming 
  • Further improved, market-leading, universal connectivity.

Sphere Highlights:

  • The world’s first hearing aid with a dedicated AI chip for sound processing — powering Spheric Speech Clarity
  • Instant speech separation from noise in any direction — with an unprecedented 10dB SNR improvement1
  • Double the chance of understanding speech from any direction with Spheric Speech Clarity2
  • Featuring all the benefits of Audéo R Infinio

How does AutoSense OS benefit your clients? Get the answer to this question and more by listening to this episode with Davina Omisore, Audiology Manager, and Chase Smith, Sales Audiology Manager. For over 75 years, Phonak has developed innovative technologies that improve speech understanding and sound quality. Get a deeper insight into our evidence-based features to offer your clients the best hearing performance in every listening situation. 

Phonak Infinio

Welcome to the future of sound processing, with the Phonak Infinio Platform. Taking on the biggest challenges in hearing care, your clients can benefit from the power of artificial intelligence to embrace life’s meaningful moments like never before.

Discover the difference

Future of hearing technology

Welcome to the future of sound processing, with the Phonak Infinio Platform. Taking on the biggest challenges in hearing care, your clients can benefit from the power of artificial intelligence to embrace life’s meaningful moments like never before.

Discover the difference

Blog posts

Artificial intelligence in hearing care

AI is gradually finding its place in hearing care, offering valuable tools to audiologists, and potentially improving patient outcomes. While challenges remain, AI is evolving from buzzword to a useful tool for you and your clients.

Personalized Amplification

AI helps customize hearing aids to individual needs. AI can also analyze unique client needs, preferences, and listening environments to fine-tune hearing aids in real-time, optimizing the listening experience. Phonak AutoSense™ OS is a splendid example of how AI-based machine learning improves speech understanding and reduces listening effort.

Audiologist at work
Earlier Detection

AI algorithms are analyzing otoscopic images, audiograms, and even genetic data to identify hearing loss earlier and with greater precision. Imagine AI spotting early signs of presbycusis or Meniere's disease, allowing for prompt intervention.

Female client in audiologist’s office
Hearing Health Management

AI-powered apps empower clients to take a more active role in managing their hearing health, complementing professional audiological care. For example, an AI-powered tinnitus app can learn unique tinnitus patterns and create personalized sound therapies to mask the ringing sensation. It can also incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to help manage stress and anxiety associated with tinnitus, ultimately improving overall well-being.

Middle aged couple exercising near a mountain lake

Artificial Intelligence FAQ

What is AI and how does it work in hearing aids? This FAQ section aims to address queries and provide information about AI-powered hearing solutions.

General AI and Hearing Aids

Frequently asked questions

Artificial intelligence is defined as the ability of machines to imitate human behavior. Conversationally, artificial intelligence and machine learning are used interchangeably.7

 

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence in which a system learns automatically and enhances its performance through the analysis of provided data.7

Phonak hearing aids have utilized artificial intelligence technology for 24 years. For many years AI technology using Machine Learning (ML) has been utilized in hearing aids to perform 2 tasks: 1) classification of sound environments and 2) application of parameters for sound processing. 

Phonak’s latest implementation is the use of machine learning to train our hearing aid operating system, AutoSense OS. This technology was developed and trained using thousands of real-world sound recordings. The result is a truly personalized hearing experience. 

An advance subset of machine learning that employs intricate algorithms, such as deep neural networks (DNN), to closely emulate the human brain, enabling the system to learn and respond to information with increased complexity and precision.⁷ 

Deep Learning through a deep neural network is the most powerful machine learning algorithm.⁷

Phonak recognizes AI as a significant catalyst for innovation in certain aspects of hearing aid technology. However, AI/Deep learning is not new, it has been around since the 1990s, but has been limited due to the incredible amounts of processing power required to operate.

While embracing the excitement surrounding AI technology, Phonak remains steadfast in the belief that transparency is key. It is essential to openly acknowledge the current limitations of AI and avoid making exaggerated claims packed with buzzwords simply for the sake of trendiness.

We also acknowledge the importance of other technological advancements in meeting the needs of healthcare professionals and their clients. We aim to enhance their hearing experience in real-life situations, particularly in challenging environments with background noise. 

In the realm of hearing aids, Phonak believes that the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its subsets, such as machine learning (ML) and deep neural networks (DNN), holds immense potential. When understanding the impact of AI and DNN, it is important to note that the size matters. A ‘small DNN’ will not necessarily achieve better client outcomes than classical machine learning.

Our objective is to provide practical and effective solutions that truly benefit our users, regardless of the technology used.

At Phonak, we recognize the vital role of hearing care professionals in achieving the best patient outcomes. While AI technology continues to evolve, it is important to underscore the significance of the combined efforts of innovation and skilled hearing care professionals. The integration of advanced technology with expert care and guidance ensures the optimal utilization of AI capabilities in hearing aids, ultimately benefiting the client. 

Partner with us

As a Phonak partner, you’ll get access to one of the industry-leading hearing solutions, our extensive resource library, marketing support to help your business grow, community events, training, and more.

Side view of female nurse working at computer desk against window in office

References

1. Appleton, J. (2020). AutoSense OS 4.0 - significantly less listening effort and preferred for speech intelligibility. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence 
2. Latzel, M., & Hobi, S. (2022). ActiveVent™ Receiver provides benefit of open and closed acoustics for better speech understanding in noise and naturalness of own voice perception. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence. 
3. Thibodeau L. M. (2020) Benefits in Speech Recognition in Noise with Remote Wireless Microphones in Group Settings. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31(6), 404–411. 
4. Latzel, M., Lesimple, C., & Woodward, J. (2022). New implementation of directional beamforming configurations show improved speech understanding and reduced listening effort. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence 
5. Latzel, M., Lesimple, C., & Woodward, J. (2023). Speech Enhancer significantly reduces listening 

effort and increases intelligibility for speech from a distance. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence

6. RIC: 
Usability PDL-14751 
PDL-18247 (Func. Behavior) 
PDL-18770 (Hear. Perf.) 
BTE: 
Usability PDL-14720 
Hearing Performance verification report: PDL-18771 
Functional verification report: PDL-18246

7. https://nix-united.com/blog/artificial-intelligence-vs-machine-learning-vs-deep-learning-explaining-the-difference/