Hearables Are Making Their Way into the Device World

Audio and voice-controlled platforms are already a major trend among consumers. When will hearables become part of the medical device and healthcare realm? Sooner than you think.

Many of us already have hearable, voice-controlled devices at home, reminding us to pick up milk and answering our trivia-like questions. But when will similar applications become commonplace in the medical field?

In fact, hearables are already becoming part of the medical environment. As MD+DI has reported, Boston Children’s Hospital has incorporated Alexa-enabled Amazon devices to give clinicians basic reference information and guide users through specific care protocols.

In late May, software company Orbita, Inc. and technology company ERT announced a joint effort to use the Orbita Voice offering and ERT EXPERT technology platform for clinical trials. According to a press release, the result is a tool that will allow patients and other stakeholders to take surveys and complete activities using voice.

“Voice-based UI (user interface) innovations have huge implications for the healthcare industry, particularly in areas where patient participation, interaction, and engagement is critical to the market success of digital health solutions and services,” Harry Wang, senior director of research at Parks Associates, said in the same release. “This collaboration between Orbita and ERT is a clear example of voice recognition technology’s potential in healthcare and we expect many more use cases that incorporate voice UI to emerge.”

In an interview with MD+DI earlier this year, Stuart Karten, president of Karten Design, discussed the question of when medical devices would incorporate hearable elements. “I don’t think it’s that far off,” he said. “I’m thinking in three to five years we would start to see it. I see [hearables] happening as any technology would, sort of titrating their way in.”

By Marie Thibault | MDDI

Image Credit: Amazon


About Peter Coffaro 629 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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