With over 466 million people suffering from disabling hearing loss globally according to the World Health Organization, and the number expected to rise to 900 million people by 2050, hearing aids are crucially important medical wearable devices. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to increased risks of social isolation, depression, dementia, fall injuries, and other health issues. In this talk, we will present a new class of in-ear devices with embedded sensors and artificial intelligence, which are shaped to fit an individual with 3D-imaging of the ear geometry. In addition to providing frequency-dependent amplification of sound to compensate for hearing loss, these devices serve as a continuous monitor for important physiological parameters, an automatic fall detection and alert system, as well as a personal assistant with connectivity to the cloud. Furthermore, Bluetooth-paired with a vision aid, these devices present exciting possibilities for multisensory perceptual augmentation of hearing, balance, vision, and memory, helping people live better and more productive lives.
Dr. Achin Bhowmik is the chief technology officer and executive vice president of engineering at Starkey Hearing Technologies, a privately-held medical devices business with over 5,000 employees. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel, responsible for products and businesses in the areas of 3D sensing and interactive devices. He is a board member for OpenCV, the Society for Information Display, the National Captioning Institute, and a number of technology startup companies. He holds an adjunct professor position at Stanford University School of Medicine.