What’s the design in a nutshell?
Ponto 4 is the smallest BAHS, Bone Anchored Hearing System ever made. Its game-changing design allows the hearing impaired to experience 360 degrees of sound, meanwhile having the power to focus on speech over noise. It can even be connected to all sorts of devices like baby alarms, doorbells, phones and televisions.
Why is it needed?
More than 430 million people in the world suffer from some sort of disabling hearing impairment, and it’s estimated that by 2050 one in ten, 700 million, will be affected by disabling hearing loss. Different degrees of hearing impairments can lead to social isolation and loneliness, leaving a significant percentage of the world’s population outcasted.
Hearing aids in all shapes and sizes have been developed to make life easier for the hearing impaired – but even with this technological aid, there’s still a long way to go to create sound landscapes. Many hearing aids have been defined by directionality and are unable to achieve a naturally balanced sound environment, that lets the user separate unimportant noises from the important ones.
How does it work?
Designed by Oticon Medical, The Ponto 4 is a bone-anchored hearing device, meaning it’s a surgically implanted sound processor that transforms sound into vibrations transmitted through the bone and into the inner ear – similar to how the body naturally processes sound.
In addition to this, The Ponto 4’s OpenSound Navigator is what really marks a paradigm shift, according to the company. The OpenSound Navigator analyses the 360-degree sound environment over 100 times per second. From there, sounds are balanced according to noise type and location, enabling the brain to focus on what’s important, for example, speech. Non-dependent on directionality, it even picks up people speaking behind the wearer.
But there’s another addition to Ponto 4: it’s the first bone-anchored sound processor which can be connected to the internet! The Ponto can stream music, take calls, and receive spoken notifications on new emails, alarms etc. It also has a companion app used to lower or raise volume and switch between devices.
"The OpenSound navigator analyses the 360 degrees sound environment over 100 times per second."
How does it improve life?
The Ponto 4 improves life for a multitude of people suffering from conductive or mixed hearing loss or people with single-sided deafness. With Oticon Medical being among the three largest companies for hearing solutions in the world and available in 100 countries, they have the network to distribute the Ponto 4 all over.
What’s the impact to date or projected impact?
Around 98% of users report improved quality of life after Ponto surgery. Oticon Medical also does a lot of work to continue engaging and following up with their customers and track how Ponto has improved their lives.