Australian smart hearing product manufacturer Nuheara (ASX: NUH) has expanded its reach in the United States with the appointment of ADCO Medical Suppliers as the newest distributor for its IQbuds BOOST medical device.
The company will work with ADCO to supply hearing devices into the US professional market, specifically its new-age BOOST earbud solution catering to patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.
ADCO is a General Services Administration (GSA) contract holder authorised to supply audiological equipment to the US federal government.
It is also a certified hearing assistance device supplier to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which supplies approximately 25% all hearing devices sold in the US.
The majority of devices purchased by the DVA are dispensed at no charge to qualified military veterans.
Nuheara chief executive Justin Miller said the ADCO agreement will help Nuheara’s mission of transforming lives by providing access to affordable hearing solutions.
“The US government is deeply committed to improving accessibility and affordability in hearing healthcare and quality partners like ADCO will help us expand our reach to service more customers across multiple channels,” he said.
IQBuds BOOST has been marketed as a world-first multifunctional hearing bud solution providing personalised hearing assistance as well as audio features such as music and hands-free phone calls.
The product incorporates the prescription-fitting NAL-NL2 formula used by global hearing aid companies as well as Nuheara’s own proprietary Ear IDTM, which automatically calibrates the hearing aid settings.
An app to support the product is available on iTunes and Google Play Store for Apple and android devices.
According to the World Health Organisation, while 70% of people with hearing loss fall within the mild to moderate category, only 10% of diagnosed patients in this category proceed with the purchase of any form of hearing assistance.
Statistics show the main reason given for the lack of follow-through is cost.
At a retail price of less than A$700, Nuheara said its BOOST buds are an affordable option, representing around 10% of the cost of traditional digital hearing solutions.
Nuheara’s IQBuds BOOST will be available for purchase through ADCO.
In the future, under the US government’s new Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, which was passed in 2017, further hearing solutions will be available to be sold without a prescription. The FDA is currently developing the guidelines which must be adhered to.
The Act improves accessibility to critical medical devices without added costs associated with doctors appointments.
At mid-afternoon, shares in Nuheara were trading 4.55% higher at $0.092.