Empowering a generation to take control of their hearing
The Australian hearing aid company Blamey & Saunders Hearing’s new clinic and offices will be opened this evening at 6 pm at historic 364 Albert Street, East Melbourne, by Michelle Gallaher, CEO of the BioMelbourne Network.
The new hearing aid has evolved from sound technologies developed for Graeme Clark’s bionic ear. It empowers users to take control of their own hearing. They can buy online and fine tune the hearing aid themselves or with the help of an audiologist. The choice is theirs and the price—starting at under $1,000—is a fraction of the cost of equivalent hearing aids.
The new hearing aids were launched in April and the demand has been so great that the company has already outgrown its old home at the Bionic Ear Institute.
The core product is the IHearYou smart, self-fitted digital hearing aid which is the culmination of nearly twelve years of research and development supported at key stages by the Australian government.
“Australia’s bionic ear has already brought hearing to hundreds of thousands of deaf children and adults worldwide. Now, our hearing aid uses technology from the bionic ear to bring better hearing to the millions of Australians with hearing loss who have been put off by the cost, complexity and stigma of conventional hearing aids,” says Peter Blamey, co-founder of Blamey & Saunders Hearing and Deputy Director of the Bionic Ear Institute.
“We wanted this technology to make a difference for Australians with hearing loss,” says co-founder and audiologist Elaine Saunders.
“So we’ve created a new business model for hearing aids that gives millions of Australians the opportunity to take control of their own hearing,” she says.
“This is the hearing aid for the iTunes generation. It’s small, smart and it works.
“We have a generation of Australians whose quality of life has already been affected by hearing loss due to loud music or occupational noise,” she says. “You may not think you need a hearing aid, but ask your partner or friends. And try a hearing aid. It could transform your life.”
The new clinic and offices are in a historic terrace house at 364 Albert Street, built for timber merchant Thomas Anthony in 1873.
With the move comes a name change—from Australia Hears to Blamey & Saunders Hearing. “We changed our name at the request of the government agency, Australian Hearing Services, who felt that Australia Hears was too close to their name which is protected by an Act of Parliament. Since we are expanding outside Australia, we decided it was time to back our scholarly names and international reputation,” says Peter Blamey.
“We consider it a compliment that Australian Hearing Services found that some people were confusing the two organisations. However, our businesses are very different in terms of our products and business model.”
And it’s the new business model that could transform audiology delivery in Australia.
“Our business provides self-adjustable hearing aids online, and also from our East Melbourne clinic. Additionally, our hearing aids are available from customer-oriented audiologists who are prepared to fit our advanced ADRO-based products with ‘unbundled pricing’ (separate prices for services and products). This means you only pay for the support you need.
6-8pm at the new Blamey & Saunders Hearing offices, 364 Albert Street East Melbourne, Wednesday 23 November