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3 Wireless Medical Devices to Watch: Siemens miniTek

                                                   People with hearing loss want their hearing aids to be small and discreet, but these devices also have to pack a powerful technological punch. The problem is, the more you cram into the device, the bigger it has to be.

At least, that was the case, until the Siemens miniTek came along. Think of this matchbox-sized device as a kind of technology booster for compatible hearing aids, incorporating features such as Bluetooth wireless technology, a direct audio input plug, and a telecoil, so the hearing aids themselves don’t have to.

Because the miniTek is compatible with Bluetooth wireless technology and other third-party Bluetooth wireless transmitters, it can connect with devices people use everyday, such as smartphones, computers, and televisions.

“The miniTek then communicates with Siemens hearing instruments via near-field magnetic induction (NFMI) technology,” says Eric J. Branda, senior manager of product management for Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc.

The result is audio streamed from a host of electronic gadgets directly to the user’s hearing aids. Users can control volume, adjust programming, or select the audio source for their hearing aids from the miniTek itself or pair it with the miniTek Remote mobile app to turn any Android phone into a remote control.

Branda says Siemens chose to use Bluetooth wireless technology because of its ubiquity, and the team opted for NFMI because the antennas enabled Siemens to design small, design-forward instruments.

“NFMI also minimizes a hearing aid battery’s power consumption, giving wearers full wireless connectivity with minimal battery drain. This is in stark contrast to other hearing aid wireless technologies, where high battery consumption is a concern,” he adds.

Introduction     Evena Eyes-On Glasses
Learn more about wireless health technologies at BIOMEDevice Boston, March 26–27, 2014.

Jamie Hartford, managing editor, MD+DI
[email protected]

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