Hearing Matters Podcast

Oticon More feat. Necole Kohring-Kalucki | Oticon Representative

February 02, 2021 Hearing Matters Season 2 Episode 12
Hearing Matters Podcast
Oticon More feat. Necole Kohring-Kalucki | Oticon Representative
Chapters
Hearing Matters Podcast
Oticon More feat. Necole Kohring-Kalucki | Oticon Representative
Feb 02, 2021 Season 2 Episode 12
Hearing Matters

The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA.

On this episode, we interviewed Necole Kohring-Kalucki, account manager at Oticon Inc. Oticon is part of the Demant Group – One of the largest and oldest international hearing healthcare companies in the market today. They develop some of the best hearing aids and audiometric equipment in our industry. Necole has been working in the hearing healthcare field for just about fifteen years. On this episode, we deep dive into Necole’s personal journey in selecting the field of hearing healthcare as her career path and define some of the key differences in hearing technology from then until now! 

On this episode, we discuss:

  • Necole’s journey in the field of hearing healthcare
  • Aging parents and hearing loss challenges
  • The newest hearing aid from Oticon: The More 
  • The primary areas of focus in hearing aid development
  • Guiding patients to successful outcomes

Necole has so much passion for hearing healthcare and is a true representation of the Oticon brand. Oticon’s trademark is “BrainHearing”, and it is in fact, the essence of what is means to hear and then understand.  Necole reveals how all of the research and development that goes into creating a new hearing aid is measured against their most current model. Their science is backed by real data and real patients! Tune in to learn more about deep neural networks, recharge ability, improved understanding in noise and much more!

Key Features of the Oticon More: 

  • Trained with 12 million sounds from real life to recognize virtually, all types of sounds to support your brain
  • The deep neural network (DNN) will learn the way your brain learns. 
  • Rechargeable
  • Now, direct to Android 
  • MoreSound Intelligence is proven to make the full sound scene 60% clearer

We Heard You Have Some Questions. Let's Hear Em'!

E-mail: [email protected]

Audiology Services Website: https://audiologyservicespa.com/


Show Notes Transcript

The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA.

On this episode, we interviewed Necole Kohring-Kalucki, account manager at Oticon Inc. Oticon is part of the Demant Group – One of the largest and oldest international hearing healthcare companies in the market today. They develop some of the best hearing aids and audiometric equipment in our industry. Necole has been working in the hearing healthcare field for just about fifteen years. On this episode, we deep dive into Necole’s personal journey in selecting the field of hearing healthcare as her career path and define some of the key differences in hearing technology from then until now! 

On this episode, we discuss:

  • Necole’s journey in the field of hearing healthcare
  • Aging parents and hearing loss challenges
  • The newest hearing aid from Oticon: The More 
  • The primary areas of focus in hearing aid development
  • Guiding patients to successful outcomes

Necole has so much passion for hearing healthcare and is a true representation of the Oticon brand. Oticon’s trademark is “BrainHearing”, and it is in fact, the essence of what is means to hear and then understand.  Necole reveals how all of the research and development that goes into creating a new hearing aid is measured against their most current model. Their science is backed by real data and real patients! Tune in to learn more about deep neural networks, recharge ability, improved understanding in noise and much more!

Key Features of the Oticon More: 

  • Trained with 12 million sounds from real life to recognize virtually, all types of sounds to support your brain
  • The deep neural network (DNN) will learn the way your brain learns. 
  • Rechargeable
  • Now, direct to Android 
  • MoreSound Intelligence is proven to make the full sound scene 60% clearer

We Heard You Have Some Questions. Let's Hear Em'!

E-mail: [email protected]

Audiology Services Website: https://audiologyservicespa.com/


Blaise Delfino:

You're tuned in to the Hearing Matters Podcast with Dr. Gregory Delfino, and Blaise Delfino of Audiology Services and Fader Plugs. The show that discusses hearing technology, best practices, and a growing national epidemic: Hearing loss. On this episode, we have Necole Kohring-Kalucki from Oticon joining us. Necole, welcome to Hearing Matters Podcast.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Thank you so much. It's great to be here.

Blaise Delfino:

It's so wonderful to have you on the show. This is an episode we were really looking forward to because you have such a unique story and, Necole, let's dive right into it. Tell us your story. When did you enter into the hearing healthcare industry?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Wow. Let me think here. Let's go back. It's been it's been a while, believe it or not, I've always been in the health care. So I was in the health care because I have my master's as a hearing health care and science and education degree. So I was a therapist for psychiatric patients for quite some time after I got out of school. I don't even know if you knew that.

Blaise Delfino:

I had no idea wow.

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

New information

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Yep. So I worked with children and adults in psychiatric hospitals and also adolescent, and children. So I did that for quite some time and didn't know what I wanted to do. But I wanted to continue on the path of some type of health care. Got recruiters tried to see where my passion would lie. But I knew I didn't want to go to the health care and actually, believe it or not, then I was approached with another recruiter and said, What about hearing healthcare? And I said, hearing health care. Hmm. I was not sure of the industry, nor did I know that it existed. But I don't know if you knew this story.

Blaise Delfino:

I had no idea Wow,

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

To the extent of what it is. So I interviewed with Oticon. And before Oticon, I don't know if you remember that small little company called Viva Tone.

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Yes.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Okay. Viva Tone was originally and people will people may fight this and and have a different answer to this that Viva Tone was not the first to come out with the the hearing aid behind the ear. But I think they were

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Yeah.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

So I don't know, do you want to interrupt me with anything?

Blaise Delfino:

Well, so so what's so interesting Necole is that you have a passion for helping people. And I've known you for my gosh, over seven, eight years, and just your passion to help people but I had no idea that that is actually how you entered the hearing healthcare industry. And it's so interesting because your mother presents with hearing loss. So you've been in the hearing healthcare industry for over 14 years. Share with us your experience working with your mother throughout her hearing journey, because I don't believe she was wearing hearing instruments when you entered the hearing healthcare industry.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

No. You're correct.

Blaise Delfino:

Tell us about that experience?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Well, it is interesting, just even referring back to my grandmother who did not wear them, and my dad's mom that did not wear them, and then getting involved with my own parents that both have hearing loss actually, my father does too. But he is not a good patient. He doesn't wear his his hearing instruments as much. But the journey has been easy with my mom, because she has known that I have been in the industry. So she she listens well, she wears her hearing instruments and when she does better communicating with my father, when you have two people that have hearing loss, it becomes a big frustration for them to live together. So one of them decided to help themselves and and make the relationship better, because my dad has a high frequency hearing loss, a big high frequency hearing loss and my mom is more across the board that she needs a boost. But by her actually getting hearing instruments and me being in the industry, I think helped.

Blaise Delfino:

I would assume it's safe to say that your experience in the hearing healthcare industry, your knowledge, your passion for helping people on their journey to better health absolutely influenced your mother moving forward with hearing technology.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Absolutely. My mom's a nurse. She's a nurse by trade. She was a nurse all her life for the all the schools and when I was when I was growing up through through elementary and high school, she was the nurse and I'd say can you transfer me to the other school I don't want to be in the same school all day long with my mom. But kidding, all kidding aside, my mom is a nurse, she's, you know that she gets it, she gets that it's important to sleep right hear, right, eat the good foods and you know, take care of yourself. But I, I've always had a passion and been throughout my life with my masters and working at the hospital and now, being in the hearing healthcare, I had no idea. And I'm still here, 14 almost going on 15 years later with Oticon. Love my job, we help people hear better every day, it's something so spectacular to do. And nowadays, loving your job and loving going to work. Although things have changed virtually, I still think it's really effective that we can still do what we need to do to help the hearing healthcare healthcare professionals and help their patients.

Blaise Delfino:

Absolutely. And especially within the last 12 months, almost which we can't believe. When we talk about social isolation and the importance of moving forward with hearing technology. We have that that brain hearing and we take that brain hearing approach as does Oticon. Right so Nicole, you've been in the hearing healthcare field for over 14 years, almost 15 years. Share with us your experience with regard to the evolution of hearing aids. I mean, they're much different than they were 14 years ago, correct?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Oh, no, I have to say this, I've had it easy. Okay. I have had it easy since I've been in the hearing healthcare industry and with Oticon Incorporated, because there was screwdrivers, trim pods, I didn't have to experience that when I entered into this almost 15 years ago, it was so easy. Everything's been software to programming hearing instruments to adjusting them and not there's there isn't adjustments, the optimization for fine tuning is much less, because the instruments have grown and gotten so much better over the years, I will say Oticon one reason and what I love about oticon, as do a lot of people and a lot of patients is that they don't sacrifice sound quality and that is number one I feel in all our lives to have good sound quality. I mean, my ears, I can't turn them up, you know, and so being able to get better and better at the technology and and to advance the way we've advanced is it's absolutely mind blowing.

Blaise Delfino:

It truly is. Dr. Delfino, you've been an audiologist for over 35 years. Can you dovetail off Nicole's experience with the hearing technology because when you enter the field of Audiology, there were screwdrivers and trim pods.

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Exactly. And you know, as Necole, I grew up with hearing impaired person and my whole my father was hearing impaired. And that really creates a an empathy that I think you don't get anywhere else. And so when we're seeing patients, or they're describing situations that they're experiencing, you really have a sense of a connection with, I've had this experience myself with my parent with who with whomever in the family is hearing impaired. So we get this understanding connection with the patient right away. For my father, we started him off with in ear hearing aids, and this is he had been he has had some surgery done some Stapedectomies that didn't work well so we moved on to hearing aids, he started off with an in ear and then we moved him up actually to a multi focus and talk about screwdriver. I mean, we tried to tune him in create a situation where we were dealing with some sort of a conductive loss and he had some high frequency recruitment. So the the precision with which we can now set up the instruments we didn't have 20 years ago. And so there was lots of this is as good as it gets, we can't get much better, unfortunately.

Blaise Delfino:

And to evolve for the technology to evolve and, and for us to evolve as hearing healthcare professionals. Just the technology in and of itself that parallels the hearing aids, the fitting software, things of that nature, we are able to now have incredible patient outcomes and that's what it comes down to right Dr. Delfino is to reconnect our patients to their new hearing world and again, reducing listening effort and increasing speech understanding. Necole, Oticon recently released a new hearing instrument called the Oticon MORE. Tell us what makes this hearing aids so different as compared to the other hearing aids currently available to patients?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Well, again, I mentioned sound quality, which Oticon is always always number one, at that's their goal. But the Oticon more works more like the brain because it's learned through experience. The other thing It's the world's first hearing device that has embedded deep neural networks, fundamentally new approaches to signal processing, which is the more sound intelligence and more sound amplifier. The brain hearing research is proven to deliver more and clearer sound to the brain for better speech understanding. And you are referring to that earlier, Blaise, about speech understanding. I know, when we go back to talking about how it used to be, we would come and have the patient come in, and you would change something or optimize something and, and pretty much say, well, that's how you have to live with it, you got to live with it. Now we don't have to do that we have state of the art, technology and state of the art software to be able to do this on a first fit. So you almost can kind of sit on your hands. And of course, this new, MORE is rechargeable. That's been a number one device and demand in the industry, not just the last year. But for the last, I'd say three to five years, which is, it's somewhat shocking when you think about it that rechargeable was really going to be that big of a demand. But it is

Blaise Delfino:

It is absolutely to not have to change batteries. And with the Oticon MORE, patients especially with decreased dexterity and decreased vision will have the ability to wear rechargeable hearing instruments, and they don't have to worry about changing batteries. What's what's interesting Necole's when you talk about deep neural networks, and we're not going to get too deep into the DNN, the deep neural network, but this is such fascinating and incredible technology, because the Oticon MORE is the first hearing instrument to actually have deep neural network. And what the researchers at Oticon did is they collected 12 million sound samples, they went out into the real world, collected these sound samples and what the instrument is able to do is it processes sound 500 times per second, analyzes your environment, and focuses on essentially speech because we know that and Necole, you'll absolutely dovetail off this, the old philosophy of hearing technology was let's just focus on what's in front of us this dynamic polar pattern approach. Whereas Oticon then came out with the Opn sound navigator, which made background sounds readily available, which again is how the brain actually works. You want to hear a little bit of that background noise because it number one, it's safety and it's how your brain works. So then Oticon coming out with the Opn sound navigator to now this deep neural network on their Polaris chip is absolutely incredible. Dr. Delfino you and I have been

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

I think it really addresses the whole issue doing our our own, you know, research and readings with regard to the Oticon MORE, I'd love to hear your input and your perspective on this groundbreaking technology. of brain hearing, which has been one of Oticon's, which is their trademark. We've known for years that it is the brain the auditory cortex that is responsible for processing sounds for many years, I've done testing for auditory processing in children and adults and time and time again, I see this occur with things like sequencing and auditory integration. Oticon has taken that information, and they have looked at how the brain functions and addressed those issues right at the source. And we'll talk more about Doug Beck s study, but certainly that real y gives us some confirmation f what we thought was true, is n fact happening that we use t e trut

Blaise Delfino:

Necole, the majority of the patients that we see here at Audiology Services, they struggle, understanding speech and noise. It's actively listening and understanding speech that they truly struggle with and need the most assistance with. How will the Oticon MORE increase our patient's speech understanding and decrease their overall listening effort?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Well, it's been that's been something we've always been working on as well. And, and we've talked about that you kind of you briefly mentioned, you know a little bit about how we when we come up with something, we just continue to add more so brain hearing has been our core philosophy and our trademark along with sound quality and not sacrificing sound quality. So when you get a chip and a platform that has that speed, we're able to really be more aware and not be overwhelmed by anything.

Blaise Delfino:

And when you talk about speed, why is speed so important and essential with regard to today's hearing technology again, because it reduces that listening effort, and Dr. Delfino you and I were just reviewing an article titled when we reintroduced sound, an interview with Dr. Anu Sharma now, Dr. Douglas Beck conducted this interview. Very good friend of ours and Necole, you made the introduction, you know introducing us to Dr. Beck. And what's interesting is Dr. Sharma, Hannah Glick and colleagues at the University of Colorado Boulder have become well known, well known of their studies of cross modal plasticity of the brain and cortical resource allocation as it relates to hearing loss. Now, this specific interview and article when we reintroduce sound Dr. Delfino. What we both found to be so incredible is that brain changes before and after hearing aid use. We talk about this cortical activation suggestive of effortful listening. But after six months of hearing aid use being programmed correctly wearing premium technology and of course, real ear measurement and best practices being implemented. What Dr. Sharma and colleagues found was that they saw a reversal of the cross modal and frontal recruitment representing more typical activation of cerebellar and occipital cortex in response to a visual motion stimulus. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this study on this interview, and how groundbreaking this is to our industry, and how the Oticon MORE is going to allow an open up our patients to a new soundscape.

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

I think either, in very brief terms. What the study has shown us is that with untreated hearing loss more than the primary auditory cortex is involved in it, it has to do with auditory integration, the auditory cortex, along with the visual occipital lobe, are involved with trying to tease out what's being said, and this is where the brain load certainly would occur. The effort in trying to listen because it's now just not just an auditory cortex, the auditory cortex is being deprived of some of the information it needs to function. And so it looks to other portions of the brain through neuroplasticity to fill in what's being omitted. What the MORE has done and what the study has shown is that by including and focusing more on what happens at the auditory cortex, by reducing that effort, we are seeing some real changes in the way in which the auditory cortex is able to perform.

Blaise Delfino:

So then, of course, Dr. Delfino with correct implementation of hearing technology following best practices, and fitting patients correctly, we're able to of course, increase speech understanding and decrease listening effort. Necole, what we found so incredible about the Oticon MORE is that individuals fit with this technology, I believe there was a 60% increase in speech understanding, and when we talk about the speed of this ship, to introduce patients to a whole new hearing world has, of course, sound quality has been at the forefront of oticon's innovation, but tell us more about the speech understanding aspect and why that's so important to the brain.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Well, absolutely feeding the brain, the correct information is always our goal. And, and as best as we can feed the information and fast so they can organize it at a level and speed that they need to do that when they walk in somewhere. So listening effort has continued, all this stuff keeps getting better and better. It used to be the speed of talk where we had in our instruments, and it's even faster than that you spoke about these numbers and what I think is important about the numbers of increase speech understanding in a complex situation is that we can back all this up with the research and research is key,

Blaise Delfino:

Yes

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

To know that the patients know, we didn't just pull this out of the air, each time we launch a product, it's on top of the numbers that we had before. So that's why you hear that 60% that's a huge number. It's over half. It's huge. It's huge. So that's what we want, and we want to be able to show them that they you were talking about the research study, and it needs to be shown that's what those numbers are.

Blaise Delfino:

Correct. To dovetail off that Nicole, Dr. Delfino and I we conduct our own in house independent research, because, of course, we believe you know the numbers but what's amazing is that we want to put that to the test. And what we've found, especially with with Oticon, is that yes, those numbers are spot on. The amount of innovation and research that goes into this product, especially the Oticon MORE is incredible and that is why again, when we talk about being fit with hearing aids by an audiologist or a licensed hearing professional is important because with this Oticon MORE technology, we're again focusing on the brain background sounds being readily available. And you're also going to experience that natural sound scape. Necole, you've worked with 1000s of patients over the years truly. And many of them have been hesitant to take the next step towards better hearing, understanding and listening, really, overall purchasing hearing instruments. So what would you tell individuals who are on the fence with regard to moving forward with hearing technology?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Well, it's always been interesting, but I think that that hesitation has has been shorter and shorter each year, I think the seven year myth is is we used to say, oh, it takes someone seven years to actually make a decision. But I think what we have found is that most of the time people have had bad experiences. And so they wait, they that that experience that they're having when they come in you, it's like we have one shot. And we want to make it a good shot for them so they understand. I really think just relating, and being sure that we can relay, the situation that they're in, it's really being simple about how the brain works and where they want to hear better. It's not getting so much into the deep neural nets and how they were trained and, and getting that into a small device. It's about listening to them where they want to hear better, and how can we get them a device that's going to give them better hearing in the hearing world because they want to be able to listen to their grandchildren, whether it's virtually, or they're walking into their favorite restaurant, which maybe they're not doing so often now. But people are Skyping they're on on FaceTime, and they want to be able to hear and with the masks, I think it's another clear issue that we want to make sure now that we have more, it's not just that it's a new shiny object. It's that we're we're focusing on getting the brain the best signal and the best information for them to be able to communicate with who they want to communicate with. So back to the the question that you asked me as I I truly don't feel that a lot of people are on the fence. When we we have a conversation with them, and really listen to them about what and why they're coming in for their hearing health care. It's not so much anymore talking about all the technology. It's about how we're going to get them on this hearing journey to better health.

Blaise Delfino:

It's interesting, Necole. In a recent podcast episode, we were saying that hearing healthcare professionals need to listen to understand their patient, and Dr. Delfino, you and I talked about this time and time again, Necole, we had, there are some individuals who, you know, this is their first time at an audiology practice or getting their hearing evaluated not to screen but truly getting a comprehensive audiological evaluation and as you know, we treat all of our patients and everyone who comes into the office like they are family because this is such a big step in the right direction for our patients. Yes, the technology is incredible, but again, as we say time and time again, the hearing instruments are only as good as the individual fine tuning them and programming them and what Dr. Delfino and I have found specifically with this Oticon MORE is number one we conduct real ear measurement, what we found is that the instruments essentially out of the box are pretty darn close to target. Of course, everyone's ear canal is different, it could be a different configuration of a type and degree of hearing loss. But what we found is that the Oticon MORE out of the box with personalization conducted in the Genie 2 software, we are very very close if not exact to target Dr. Delfino.

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Yeah, I mean, that's that's one of the reasons why we do such a complete diagnostic evaluation because even though it may say this, this hits target on real ear, if if I know that they've got a reduced UCL or there's some recruitment involved, we know where to step in and say, okay, we need to drop it here because of the information we've gathered on other diagnostic testing. So the complete diagnostic evaluation really helps us to fine tune this even more.

Blaise Delfino:

Necole, I think it's also so amazing now that the Oticon MORE is direct to Android. So when you were talking about you know, Skyping and living now in sort of this virtual world, which is not going to be forever, but you know, we have remote programming and things of that nature. But with the connectivity, the Oticon MORE is not only a such an incredible hearing instrument, but it can also allow our patients to connect to their family to their friends, colleagues and peers. I mean, that's incredible. Congrats to Oticon. Because I know that is a challenge that Oticon wanted to solve is direct to Android, which is going to be such a huge, it's such a positive experience for our patients who who do use Android phones.

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

Absolutely. You know, number one, feeding the brain number two sound quality, getting them hearing better in these complex in the complex, crazy world that we live in. But yes, we know people want to connect and so the the rechargeable, and along with the streaming capability has been huge, because everybody we see each year that the younger and younger are coming in still to get fit with hearing devices. And so back to your question about the hesitation and when people come in. It's not just elderly people getting hearing instruments anymore and they are busy

Blaise Delfino:

Hearing loss does not discriminate, and it's so important for fellow hearing healthcare professionals and audiologists listening right now is we fit to the hearing loss first. So we focus on the benefit of the hearing technology and then we focus on the features second. Again, what we want to do is when we fit patients with hearing technology, you focus on the benefit, the benefit of the Oticon MORE technology with that deep neural network technology and then a couple follow ups down the road we focus on the features and connectivity. Today we had Necole Kohring-Kalucki from Oticon join us. She is a hearing healthcare professional, has been in the field for almost 15 years, and she has helped 1000s of patients and professionals introduce individuals to a new hearing world. Necole, do you have any last minute thoughts that you wanted to share with us?

Necole Kohring-Kalucki:

No, this has been it's been fun, and I just hope that we can reach a lot of people take a listen and we're here. Come see the Delfinos at Audiology Services.

Blaise Delfino:

We welcome you to Audiology Services, visit us so you can experience a live demonstration of the Oticon MORE. If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow the Hearing Matters Podcast, like us on Facebook. And if you're listening to us on Apple podcast, write us a review share with us what you were thinking. Again, you're tuned in to the Hearing Matters Podcast with Dr. Gregory Delfino and Blaise Delfino of Audiology Services and Fader Plugs, until next time, hear life's story.