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Easy-tech Hearing Aids Service

for the Elderly with Hearing Loss in Underdeveloped Medical Facilities Areas

Technology + Charity

"Bringing the Hearing-Impaired Elderly Back to the World of Sound"

Launched Project

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Duration
4 Months (2022)
Role
Design Researcher, UX/UI Designer
Type
Service Design, UX/UI Design, Industrial Design
(Team Project)
THE CHALLENGE

In underdeveloped areas of China, the elderly face significant barriers in accessing quality hearing care. The high costs of hearing aids, the necessity for professional fitting, and the complex maintenance required make it difficult for many to address their hearing loss. This issue is compounded by limited healthcare infrastructure, leaving many elderly individuals isolated and disconnected from the world.

THE OUTCOME

Our team, leveraging a partnership with HUAWEI Smart Life App and local healthcare providers, designed and developed this easy-tech hearing aid and its accompanying services system, such as hearing tests, commissioning, repair, and maintenance without relying on expensive and high-tech equipment. In collaboration with rural healthcare facilities and physicians, our system ensures that the elderly in underdeveloped areas receive expert hearing care tailored to their financial capacities, safeguarding their ability to connect with the world audibly.

Have you ever pondered the essence of "sound"?

Is it the melodious chirping of birds serenading dawn's first light, the gentle whisper of the wind as it dances with the leaves, the innocent laughter of children lost in play, the rhythmic cadence of market vendors weaving tales of their wares, or the ceaseless symphony of life echoing from bustling streets...

"To hear a sound" is to touch the soul of the world.

It is an instinctive way to perceive the world.

However...

Revolutionary Hearing Aid Pilot Proves a Resounding Success in Suichuan County
Comprehensive Solutions for Industry Ecology
huaweilogo.png
Interaction interface built on HUAWEI Smart Life App

# Note: The leftside is the light color mode, and the right side is the dark color mode.

Interaction Interface Built on HUAWEI Smart Life App
HUAWEI Smart Life App
Stakeholder Map
Stakeholder Map
BACKGROUND & RESEARCH
1. Understanding the Scope of the Problem:
Understanding the Scope of the Problem
2. Delving into Existing Solutions:
Delving into Existing Solutions

In underdeveloped regions of China, healthcare infrastructure primarily hinges on the services of rural doctors, due to constrained financial resources and underdeveloped medical facilities which hinder the introduction of sophisticated and costly audiological equipment. The prevailing market offerings of hearing aids and their ancillary services fall short of addressing the unique needs of these areas, rendering them impractical and unadoptable for local utilization.

Current Situation of Rural Doctors
Concept sTATEMENT

Our objective is to design an economical, highly automated, compact, and discreet hearing aid device endowed with an extended operational lifespan, with an intuitive adjustment system tailored for rural healthcare practitioners (rural doctors), which necessitates minimal technical acumen, ensures precise device performance, and facilitates ease of operation.

This initiative is geared towards ameliorating the auditory health of the elderly populace residing in medically underserved regions, with the collaborative engagement of rural clinics and medical practitioners. By enhancing the auditory capabilities of this demographic, we aim not only to improve their quality of life but also to mitigate the onset of other health ailments associated with hearing impairments. This endeavor is a stride towards preserving the elderly's ability to remain acoustically connected with their surroundings, fostering an inclusive healthcare landscape in underdeveloped regions of China.

Core Values & Competencies Compared to Competitors
Core Values and Competencies Compared to Competitors

Our paramount focus centers on our products' cost-effectiveness, ease of maintenance, and longevity while ensuring that they embody a low-tech, easily operable technological framework. We conscientiously design our offerings to be accessible and straightforward, catering to the capabilities of rural healthcare providers in underdeveloped regions of China.

On a complementary note, to achieve cost-efficiency, we have made a strategic decision to moderate the sound quality and personalization features of our hearing aids. Rather than extensive customization, we opt for a set of uniform templates and roadmaps that are adeptly tailored to meet the distinct auditory requirements of the target demographics in these regions.

This balanced approach underscores our commitment to delivering accessible auditory solutions without imposing a financial strain on the end-users or the healthcare ecosystem of these underprivileged areas, thus fostering a model of sustainable healthcare support for those with hearing impairments.

Our product is specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of the underdeveloped regions of China, ensuring alignment with local market demands and enhancing our competitive edge.

FINAL Concept & PROTOTYPES
Comprehensive Solutions for Industry Ecology
Comprehensive Solutions for Industry Ecology

FOCONG BTE Behind-the-Ear Digital Hearing Aid: With a high-performance imported chip, it accurately handles speech and noise, and it carries a noise shield with 3-stage noise reduction for fast and clear sound. Its intelligent algorithm can effectively prevent sharp sounds and is suitable for multi-scene use. Its directional microphone can be positioned according to the direction of the sound to fully amplify the human voice.

1. Physical buttons, one-touch volume adjustment, thoughtful design, simple and easy to understand, convenient for the elderly daily adjustment.


2. Connect the APP via Bluetooth for hearing aid sound control and noise reduction adjustment, and also for online fitting and commissioning.

huaweilogo.png
Interaction interface built on HUAWEI Smart Life App

# Note: The leftside is the light color mode, and the right side is the dark color mode.

Interaction Interface Built on HUAWEI Smart Life App
TESTING & PILOT
Pilot: Hearing Aid Action

Encounter: Revolutionary Hearing Aid Pilot Proves a Resounding Success in Suichuan County

In an initiative to bridge the auditory divide, FOCONG, in collaboration with HUAWEI Smart Life App, piloted a transformative hearing aid project in Suichuan County, Jiangxi Province. This initiative brought together the expertise of seasoned audiologists and the supportive outreach of Tmall Health, China Social Welfare Foundation, and Alibaba Public Welfare through the "Hearing Aid Action - Suichuan Public Welfare" campaign.

Revolutionary Hearing Aid Pilot Proves a Resounding Success in Suichuan County

Above are the text process and video screenshots of the pilot, please watch the pilot video at the very beginning if you are interested.

Key Results of the Pilot:

· Reach and Impact:

Over 200 elderly individuals in Suichuan County were screened for hearing impairment during the campaign.
100 hearing aids were distributed freely to eligible elderly individuals, significantly improving their quality of life.

· Technological Breakthrough:

The integration of FOCONG's hearing aids with the HUAWEI Smart Life App facilitated seamless hearing aid adjustments, eliminating the need for expensive medical equipment traditionally required for such tasks.

· Enhanced Auditory Restoration:

Post-distribution assessments showcased a remarkable 95% improvement in auditory capabilities amongst recipients, reinstating their ability to engage with the world audibly.

· Cost-Effectiveness:

The streamlined process, courtesy of the interactive interface, cut down the commissioning and adjustment costs, providing the vertical product choice for the low-price range, marking a significant stride toward making hearing aids accessible in financially constrained settings.

· Community Awareness:

The pilot campaign included educating the local populace about hearing impairment, its prevention, and the innovative solutions at hand, thereby fostering a well-informed community ready to tackle hearing health challenges.

· Collaborative Synergy:

The partnership with Tmall Health, China Social Welfare Foundation, and Alibaba Public Welfare demonstrated a promising model of public-private partnerships propelling healthcare accessibility in rural areas.

Pilot Posters
Pilot Group Photo

This pilot underscores the immense potential and scalability of FOCONG's innovative hearing aid solution. The remarkable success in Suichuan County paints a hopeful picture for eradicating auditory impairment challenges across the more impoverished and medically underserved regions of China. The groundbreaking initiative by FOCONG is more than just a light tower of hope; it's a proven model ready to echo the sounds of change across rural China

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Significance & Impact
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