PCAST - Archive

Panel: Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be a pricey hassle

June 16, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Fredericksburg.com
Posted: Sunday, June 12, 2016
Associated Press |

WASHINGTON—Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be such a pricey hassle. That’s the message from a prestigious government advisory group that’s calling on Medicare and other agencies to find ways to make better hearing more affordable and accessible for millions of older Americans.

One proposal: Allow over-the-counter sales of simple devices for mild hearing problems as an alternative to full hearing aids—much like consumers with vision problems today choose between drugstore reading glasses or prescription bifocals.

The report says action is important because hearing loss isn’t just a struggle for individuals but a growing public health problem, putting untreated seniors at extra risk of social isolation, depression, even dementia.

Read more  . . . government advisory group

U.S. News – OPINION – Beware of DIY Health Care

January 27, 2016 in Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Both health and wallets suffer when people bypass medical experts in favor of do-it-yourself diagnoses and treatment for hearing loss.

U.S.News and World Report
By Jaynee Handelsman

A do-it-yourself world sounds good – in theory.

Do-it-yourself auto repairs might make sense for the savvy and mechanically inclined, while do-it-yourself electricians should probably think twice about it. But do-it-yourself health care? Probably not. Yet easy access to health information online and a culture that too often encourages speed over quality is leading Americans down a very unhealthy path.

I’ve witnessed this vividly in the world of hearing loss, where quick fixes that are “easier and cheaper” are being passed off as solutions to complex hearing challenges. There is no cookie-cutter solution to hearing health, no matter how many of these stories are published. The result we’re seeing in the world of audiology is people taking shortcuts that undermine their hearing in ways that can waste money, allow issues to fester and ultimately harm their quality of life.

Read more  . . . do-it-yourself 

The Audiology Elephant – By Angela Loavenbruck

January 21, 2016 in Community News, Legislation

 

 

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
By Angela Loavenbruck

In my last entry, I examined the mythical elephant PCAST created in its examination of the hearing healthcare system. The creature seemed to be purely product – no professional services needed – and closely resembled the vision of the Consumer Electronics Association and PSAP manufacturers.

In many ways, the PCAST report is the epitome of the commoditization of hearing healthcare.

The word audiologist was barely used in the report while the more generic “dispenser” and “hearing health care provider” were used more often. Without any evidence whatsoever, the PCAST vision delegated those with mild to moderate hearing loss – the largest category of hearing impaired individuals – into a category where self-diagnosis, self-fitting and self-adjusting are all that is needed.

Read More . . . hearing healthcare system

PCAST Recommends Changes to Promote Innovation in Hearing Technologies

November 18, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

OCTOBER 26, 2015
BY CHRISTINE CASSEL AND ED PENHOET

Summary:
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology letter report investigated age-related mild to moderate hearing loss.

Untreated, age-related hearing loss is a significant national problem. With the population 65 and older in the United States expected to reach 80 million in the next 25 years, the number of people with hearing loss will rise dramatically. Already, a quarter of adults between 60 and 69 years, more than half of adults between 70 and 79 years, and almost 80 percent of those older than 80 years have difficulty hearing – that’s almost 30 million Americans. Only a small fraction of this group seek out and use assistive hearing technologies, including hearing aids, and that rate is even smaller among low income and racial and ethnic minorities.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) believes there is an opportunity to enhance the pace of innovation, decrease cost, and improve the capability, convenience, and use of assistive hearing devices for individuals whose hearing has diminished in a mild to moderate way with age. Today, we delivered a letter report to the President, Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, that examines these issues and includes several recommendations as part of our larger study about how technologies can help Americans remain independent as they age.

Read entire Summary

Read Full report (pdf)