It’s about time we had some innovation!
My dad died last August at the relatively young age of 78 due to complications from COPD. Not being able to breathe was obviously a huge burden on his quality of life.
But almost as burdensome was his significant hearing loss, which denied him a lot of the social contact he depended on. He couldn’t go to church, he didn’t enjoy sitting around having breakfast with the retired ladies at the diner. He couldn’t talk comfortably on the phone with his daughter. So toward the end of his life he became increasingly isolated and depressed.
We tried hearing aids for him over the years, but he could never tolerate them. Over the last few years, I really wanted him to try again, but he just wouldn’t countenance spending thousands of dollars.
I couldn’t understand why hearing aids should cost so much when they contain no more sophisticated technology than you find in even a low-end cell phone.
Economies of scale obviously explain some of the differential, but clearly not all.
Thanks for spotlighting this problem, and let’s hope we get innovation going soon. People need it badly.