Starkey collaborates with Apple on new wireless hearing device + app

starkey_logoMayo Clinic isn’t the only Minnesota healthcare company getting cozy with Apple these days.

Eden Prairie’s Starkey Hearing Technologies has been working with Apple for the past few years to develop a deeply integrated hearing aid solution.

Released in April, the Halo hearing device combines with TruLink using2.4ghz Bluetooth 4.0 in iOS7 to stream any and all audio from the device — music, apps, Facetime, voice calls, even SIRI.

StarkeyAid“It’s a connectivity device that transcends the traditional hearing aids,” says Dave Fabry, VP of Audiology and Professional Relations with Starkey.

“Part of Steve Jobs’ vision for Mac included making the computer the logical extension of the individual…and we see the potential to develop a personal audio network.”

The ‘SoundSpace’ features allows fine tuning for patients to adjust the output of sound to a specific environment, paired with a geotag that will automatically make adjustments based on saved locations.

StarkeyScreenshotFabry says the average hearing aid user is 69 years, “but non-occupational hearing damage is happening to much younger people,” and he believes the stigma will be changing due in part to their products.

Halo hearing device has three tiers, starting beginning at $2,000 — a figure he maintains as consistent with current market solutions; the Halo app is free.

“We took a state of the art hearing aid and paired it with a state of the art phone,” he says.

And what about iOS8?

“We’re very excited to learn about some of the features to come with iOS 8 and can see potential for us to continue to innovate with Apple.”