Addressing the long-held stigmas associated with hearing instruments

BIHIMA interviews Maarten Barmentlo from WS Audiology


Read BIHIMA’s latest interview in the ‘2021 technology series’ for audiology magazine Audio Infos.

We interviewed Maarten Barmentlo, Chief Marketing Officer at WS Audiology, on how the companys Signia brand is tackling the issue of stigma in the hearing loss industry.

“The challenge with stigma is that people don’t want to admit to it. But we need to recognise that it is the association of hearing aids with getting old that puts people off wearing them.

All hearing instruments have shapes that are determined by the battery, they look like a droplet. Everybody in the industry uses the same batteries for their instruments, it defines the shape of a hearing aid and this shape is associated with the stigma… We really listened to consumers and uncovered that if we had an elongated design, it wouldn’t be associated with hearing aids of the past.

We need to reinforce the message that not looking after your hearing loss is what is making you look old. Comments like ‘what are you saying’, ‘can you repeat that?’, are the true signs of aging, not the hearing aids you wear.”

Maarten Barmentlo, WS Audiology

I’m convinced there are tipping points when it comes to innovation and we are on the cusp… The hearing instrument will definitely be the gateway to the modern world.” Maarten Barmentlo, WS Audiology


Click here to read the full interview at Audiology World News.

This 2021 technology interview series is a regular feature in Audio Infos Magazine and can be found online at Audiology World News. BIHIMA interviews one of its members in each issue of the magazine on a pressing technology topic effecting the hearing instrument industry today.