HOW REAL-LIFE DATA CAN IMPROVE REAL-LIFE HEARING
Power of data has almost become a cliché. But with so many ways that hearing aid manufacturers, professionals and end-users can benefit from data, maybe there’s still truth behind the (almost) cliché?
Data collection is nothing new to the hearing industry. Individual audiograms and hearing aid settings have always been recorded, and simple data logging via the hearing aids themselves is not a new thing either.
But, nowadays, data logging is far more nuanced and advanced. It helps analyze environments and links usage patterns to the sound classes that the end-user spends time in and more. Which helps enrich clinical decisions and rehabilitation.
Why data logging benefits everyoneData logging is a common way to gather anonymous data on usage. It happens with your phone or PC too, and its purpose is to help software developers fix bugs and make improvements, so the user has a better experience.
That’s also why Widex collects anonymous data. The data contain no personal information from users or hearing care professionals, and they are only used to evaluate the fitting software or apps. This is great because with the data we get smarter and can improve our design and fix issues, so that, in the end, users and hearing care professionals alike have a better experience with our solutions.
But where do we apply the data? Widex uses data in the whole development process, from defining a feature to designing it and improving it after it’s been released to market. When a feature is considered for an upgrade, we also collect data about this feature to see how it’s used and identify where changes could be made to create a better user experience. Like when we redesigned the process of how to save a personal program in the WIDEX EVOKE™ app.
The importance of consent to sharingData are useful for developing future hearing aid technologies. But when the data are not completely anonymous, consent must be given to share them.
The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) marks a new age in data privacy regulation. While it is an EU regulation, its reach is felt worldwide, since anyone operating within the EU or interacting with EU citizens is required to follow it.
GDPR concerns any data that can be identified as belonging to an individual, where that individual can be linked to the data. To comply, we’ve ensured a secure and encrypted data exchange via an additional data consent stage in COMPASS GPS.
To ensure that data are always secure and protected, Widex maintains the highest standards in security and encryption of data and only gives access to a select few relevant employees. Data are pseudonymized, and withdrawal of consent is possible at any time. One good example of how collective data have been used to give back improvements to users of Widex products is from our machine learning feature SoundSense Learn.