Hearing Matters Podcast

Leadership in Hearing Healthcare feat. Gary Rosenblum | President of Oticon

March 23, 2021 Hearing Matters Season 2 Episode 18
Hearing Matters Podcast
Leadership in Hearing Healthcare feat. Gary Rosenblum | President of Oticon
Chapters
Hearing Matters Podcast
Leadership in Hearing Healthcare feat. Gary Rosenblum | President of Oticon
Mar 23, 2021 Season 2 Episode 18
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, Pennsylvania.

On this episode we interview Gary Rosenblum, President of Oticon.  Gary Rosenblum has been President of Oticon, Inc. since October of 2016.  Gary is responsible for driving forward Oticon’s leadership in innovation, product quality and customer support. He brings a rich understanding of how customers and consumers are adapting to a changing healthcare environment.  Prior to Oticon, Gary ran several medical device and consumer healthcare businesses for Fortune 500 companies including Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, and Pfizer.  Gary earned his MBA from Cornell University and his BA in Psychology and History from Washington University in St. Louis.

On this episode you will learn: 

  • How Gary started his entrepreneurial journey in college 
  • Leading a team during and throughout a global pandemic 
  • Response strategies implemented by Oticon during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • The Oticon More launch 
  • The importance of visiting a hearing healthcare provider 
  • Gary's musical journey 

About Oticon:

Oticon’s mission began more than 100 years ago. In 1904, Oticon founder Hans Demant wanted to help his hearing-impaired wife live a better life, introducing her to one of the world's first electronic hearing aids.

From this foundation of care, Oticon grew with a passion to help people who need hearing support. We work constantly towards our vision of a world where innovative hearing technology provides meaningful, life-changing benefits for people with hearing loss.

Oticon More ~ The World's First Hearing Aid with Deep Neural Networks (DNN):

  • The DNN in Oticon More is trained with 12 million sounds from real-life to recognize virtually all types of sounds to support your brain
  • Oticon More works more like how your brain works because it learned through experience
  • As a result, you get better speech understanding with less effort and the ability to remember more, even in noisy environments
  • Delivers 30% more sound to the brain
  •  Increases speech understanding by 15%
  • Reduces listening effort so that you remember more of what is being said

Schedule a LIVE listening demonstration of the Oticon More at Audiology Services, today!

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

Email: [email protected]

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, Pennsylvania.

On this episode we interview Gary Rosenblum, President of Oticon.  Gary Rosenblum has been President of Oticon, Inc. since October of 2016.  Gary is responsible for driving forward Oticon’s leadership in innovation, product quality and customer support. He brings a rich understanding of how customers and consumers are adapting to a changing healthcare environment.  Prior to Oticon, Gary ran several medical device and consumer healthcare businesses for Fortune 500 companies including Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, and Pfizer.  Gary earned his MBA from Cornell University and his BA in Psychology and History from Washington University in St. Louis.

On this episode you will learn: 

  • How Gary started his entrepreneurial journey in college 
  • Leading a team during and throughout a global pandemic 
  • Response strategies implemented by Oticon during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • The Oticon More launch 
  • The importance of visiting a hearing healthcare provider 
  • Gary's musical journey 

About Oticon:

Oticon’s mission began more than 100 years ago. In 1904, Oticon founder Hans Demant wanted to help his hearing-impaired wife live a better life, introducing her to one of the world's first electronic hearing aids.

From this foundation of care, Oticon grew with a passion to help people who need hearing support. We work constantly towards our vision of a world where innovative hearing technology provides meaningful, life-changing benefits for people with hearing loss.

Oticon More ~ The World's First Hearing Aid with Deep Neural Networks (DNN):

  • The DNN in Oticon More is trained with 12 million sounds from real-life to recognize virtually all types of sounds to support your brain
  • Oticon More works more like how your brain works because it learned through experience
  • As a result, you get better speech understanding with less effort and the ability to remember more, even in noisy environments
  • Delivers 30% more sound to the brain
  •  Increases speech understanding by 15%
  • Reduces listening effort so that you remember more of what is being said

Schedule a LIVE listening demonstration of the Oticon More at Audiology Services, today!

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

Email: [email protected]

Blaise Delfino:

You're tuned into 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 are so excited to welcome the President of oticon. Mr. Gary Rosenblum. Gary, welcome to the

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Welcome. show.

Gary Rosenblum:

Thank you guys. Great day, great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Blaise Delfino:

It's so wonderful to have you on the show. Gary, you visited Audiology Services, almost a year and a half ago, we took you to Martin Guitar, to tour the facility. And since then, things have been quite different, haven't they?

Gary Rosenblum:

The world has definitely changed since we since we saw each other last, when things are starting to recover a little bit, which is nice.

Blaise Delfino:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Gary, can you share with our listeners, your entrepreneurial and professional background and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that you and a few friends started your very first business in college and sold out of product your first weekend open?

Gary Rosenblum:

Yes, you're starting to bring out the skeletons right away. This is, this is a good story. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna belabor this. But when I was in college, I was a psychology major. And I was deciding whether or not to go into psychology or going into go into business. And my friends, and I figured out that there's a need for late night chicken wings, believe it or not, and I went to college at Wash U in St. Louis. And we developed a strategy to reach out to college students and offer them a late night option for food. And we started a chicken wing delivery business a late night, chicken wing delivery business, we dressed up like chickens, went to bars, handed out flyers. And then to your point, you mentioned this, within the first week of being a business we sold out of all of our wings. So it was pretty exciting. So we clearly had found an unmet need.

Blaise Delfino:

Absolutely. So that was the spark of the entrepreneurial journey. So yeah, after the chicken business, upon graduation, you you have quite the background in terms of your professional career. So kind of share with our listeners a little bit about your professional background.

Gary Rosenblum:

So after college, I secured a job with a retailer, a retailer called famous bar, which was a department store chain from all over the Midwest. And being in retail right away, allows you to run a business very early in your career, you're not necessarily taking a lot of risks for the company, because you're given a certain amount of dollars to spend, you're basically managing a department and for me it was men's neck wear. And I manage neck men's neck wear for for famous bar for for for about a year, then moved to New York, worked for Macy's huge chain, obviously did that for a couple years and then went back to school to get my MBA. And that was where you really understand what else is out there in terms of the business world after MBA school was consulting. So worked for worked in consulting for Deloitte for a number of years, consulting is a great experience because you're thrust into new company environments and you basically have to sink or swim. Where your existence in a, in a company to help fix that company is a business case in itself. And if you're not delivering value right away, they kick you out. So it was really important to understand how a business's p&l works, the financial statements work, and in figuring out ways to improve that business. It was great exposure for me, I was you know, I was 28-29 at the time. And I probably worked for 30 different businesses as a consultant just to kind of understand how businesses operate. So after that, I realized I wanted to own something kind of what I did when I was doing some of the entrepreneurial work and also when I was working in retail. So I switched to working for a large manufacturer. And that was where I worked for for Wioth which later became Pfizer. And I got the opportunity to work on three of us as large brands, Centrum Vitamins, Robitussen, cough syrup, and and chapstick was of course lip balm. So you know, just very varied businesses, but I was the brand manager I manage those businesses for the US. After that it was an extension into something that was a lot more meaningful for me where I was able to work in diabetes care, I kind of made a switch from consumer healthcare into more hardcore med device type products, worked in diabetes care for Abbott for a number of years, blood glucose monitors was the category expanded that to a larger role at Johnson and Johnson worked at Johnson Johnson for about three or four years, became a VP at J&J. And then a recruiter called me about the Oticon opportunity. And that was now about four and a half, five years ago, and that was to be President of Oticon and here I am, and it has been an amazing, wild, crazy experience for the last five years or what's four and a half years at this point.

Blaise Delfino:

So, Gary, you've been with Oticon, almost five years now. And almost one year ago, the world essentially shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. I'm curious to know, what were a few of the response strategies that you and your team at Oticon implemented.

Gary Rosenblum:

So I have a battle tested team, my team of execs, and because we've been through other crises before, so this was to us, more of like just another crisis that we have to manage, which is really the way we approached it. And, you know, when we, when we thought about, well, first of all, we we met every single morning, and once the the world shut down, it was really essentially March 15 of last year. And we actually did a dry run in the office, because we have, we have phone staff, we have sales people, we have operation staff in our office in Somerset, New Jersey, and we did a dry run the day before, two days before we thought we were going to have to shut down, which means everyone worked from home for that day, just to see how it would work to make sure the phone systems work, the computers work, the laptops worked, etc. So we did that dry run, it worked well. And then we said okay, as of Monday, we're all going to work from home. For those of us who could obviously the people who are shipping out products had to stick around and we had to figure out what protocols we had to put in place to keep them safe, then we essentially met every single morning to figure out how do we approach what will be a very difficult period of time. And we realized that communication to customers was by far the most important thing for us to to focus on to let them know because the the hearing aid or hearing health world is so relationship driven, you know, the you develop as a manufacturer, we develop such strong relationships like we do with you Blaise. So being able to allow our customers to know that we're there for them, that we're not going to let them hang out to dry it, we can make some changes because the money is not going to come in, right. So we have to figure out what we can do that's appropriate to give our customers a break. But all also allow us to to stay in business for a while. So there's what why should allow us to stay in business. And what I mean by that is we know we extended credit terms, we gave forgiveness on loans for a certain amount of time. And we just did what we thought was appropriate. We had to be fiscally responsible. We're still a manufacturer, I'm an officer of the company. And I have to make sure that I'm managing the company appropriately. But we also knew the situation that our customers were in. And it was either we were had we had to give these customers some some leeway and some flexibility. Or they would, it wouldn't it wouldn't matter like the money wouldn't come in anyway. Right. So we had to be very aware of that we also had to balance that with being fiscally responsible. So you know, we also realized that no one is seeing each other. So we can't have a live event in Dallas to tell people how to manage through a COVID crisis. Right. So web webisodes and conference calls was really the the mo for us to pursue. So we immediately initiated a number of episodes to allow our customers to engage with with me, with my staff, we created a webisode for people to talk to a legal firm

Blaise Delfino:

I remember that Denton

Gary Rosenblum:

Exactly was Denton so that they could understand how to manage all like with the CARES act. And with the PPP laws associated, how do you manage that? These are a lot of questions. And we're not legal experts. So we thought it was more appropriate for us to facilitate a discussion between our customers and an accounting firm, a legal firm and, and also just how to basically manage through a very, very difficult period, we had our legal staff at Oticon, actually on the phone, or on the webisode for our customers to ask them questions. So it was really, we just wanted to make sure our customers knew that as a manufacturing partner, they have somebody to go to, and we can potentially help and a lot of people actually engage with that. And it was really, really important and, and just to be fully transparent. Our customers are important to us, because they keep our business alive. So it was it wasn't just that we're completely altruistic. It was there was a business business rationale for doing it as well, I can't be that, you know, ridiculous to assume that I was just doing it out of altruism there was there's clearly an important fiscal responsibility associated with that as well.

Blaise Delfino:

And it's also part of your core values, right as as a company, so you're not going to do something that's perpendicular to that of your core values, you're going to make decisions that parallel the core values that you as a company encompass. Dr. Delfino, when the coronavirus pandemic happened and we shut down for what we thought would be two weeks almost you know, three and a half months later, we then reopened you and I and the team would hop on these webisodes and I have to say, from a hearing healthcare perspective, speaking from a private practice owner, we appreciated that more than I think you guys understand because to connect us with different thought leaders in the industry, especially, you know, from a legal standpoint of when can we reopen safely? What did you find to be so fruitful, Dr. Delfino about the webisodes that Oticon hosted?

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Well, I think what we realized that what our customers realized was that we had the support of the manufacturers behind us, and that they were going to help with the direction in which we were going, as Gary mentioned, that, you know, that feeling of what do we do next, where where is the guidance coming from, it was clear, and we never missed a we never missed a beat, we were able to get direction from Oticon, we were able to pass it on to our patients, they never felt abandoned, they never felt left out of the loop, we were always in contact with them and made sure that it was essentially it was that much more important to be in touch with them now when they really needed had some questions. So it was it was really a wonderful resource to have coming from from Oticon.

Blaise Delfino:

Ensuring that as a leader in your company, ensuring that your people feel safe. And understanding, you know, the friendship that we've established, I've learned how you know, your leadership style. And you, of course, put your people first and that was displayed the onset of that COVID-19 shutdown. It's really interesting. And obviously that forward thinking I had no idea that oticon did a dry run of possibly working from home as a leader, how important is it for companies to sort of have backups now? backup systems, processes, procedures, things of that nature?

Gary Rosenblum:

It's a great question, because because I don't I think a lot of people were left not prepared. And I think because of the what we've dealt with over the last year, I think they're going to be a lot more prepared in the future, you know, making redundant systems, putting them in place, having staff in a number of different areas, so that they can essentially cover for areas that might be shut down. You know, I mean, we're all we're all seeing the world change quite a bit. And, you know, disasters happen seem like they're happening more often. And, and there's a lot more unpredictability out there. And as a business leader, you have to manage that. And I think that's something that with with COVID, where it's a it's been a year, and it's still going on, I mean, we all we all know it's we're far from, from this being over, it's it's critical for people to think through being more flexible about how they manage their business, so that the the risks are minimized. And that means spreading it out to different locations, it means working with different types of people, it means not assuming that everyone's in the same office, we have, everyone has to be much more flexible these days. And I think COVID has compelled that in a positive way.

Blaise Delfino:

To dovetail off you, Gary thinking forward. And what COVID did is a lot of the entrepreneurs in this business owners that forced them to implement innovation, you know, so especially now here at Audiology Services, there are some team members who are still working remotely and it actually works well for the model in and of itself. You know, obviously, we're crunched for space here in our Nazareth location, but it has worked quite well. Do we miss, you know, being family owned our patients seeing the entire family here, we absolutely miss that, hat component. But hopefully in the very near future, we can get back to quote unquote, a new normalcy, if you will. Gary, navigating a company during this global pandemic can absolutely be taxing and incredibly difficult, as president of Oticon, what advice would you give to business owners who are navigating their business through this pandemic?

Gary Rosenblum:

Well, one area we talk about is the you mentioned this a minute ago is the importance of innovation. Right? I'm a huge fan of innovation, who wouldn't be in the business world, of course. But I think sometimes you got to just take a risk. And if you think something is interesting that your customers would like your employees would like that would engage your your partners, your suppliers, you know, I wouldn't necessarily over test it. I was during during a crisis like this, I would go for it. You know, there's there's only there's only so much analysis that you can do and so much so much piloting you can do. And I think like one just one example that we that we did at Oticon was we had a beta version of our remote care solution, which is a solution where audiologists can interact with patients in a remote setting, and they can fine tune their their hearing aids as a result, this was in pilot form. We didn't really have it 100% tested and 100% ready, but we realized how important it was going to be to to our customers during the crisis. So we just rolled it out and it wasn't perfect, but we actually was in a really good place and it turned out to be a very successful solution.

Blaise Delfino:

We love it and our patients do too.

Gary Rosenblum:

Yeah, that's that's great. So that's so that's the thing where Were we, you know, again, like I was talking about we as an executive team, we had our meetings every morning. And we said, you know what our customers are going to need remote care. Let's not let's not continue this pilot, let's roll it out nationally, so that our customers will have access to it. And it was a risk, but it was the right risk. So that's I mean, to answer your question, sometimes you have to make those you have to make those judgments, where not everything is perfect. But you have to be more nimble during the crisis like this so you can continue to treat your customers well, deliver your deliver your financial targets, etc.

Blaise Delfino:

Essentially, what Oticon did is they rolled out with their MVP or minimum viable product, and tested it retested it taking some of the opinions and feedback from the hearing healthcare professionals. And now, you know, almost a year later, the system that your team created is really flawless. I mean, like I said, our patients love and systems can always be better and refined. But our patients that we scheduled for their remote appointments Gary, they love it. Dr. Delfino, you've been an audiologist for over 35 years, while being an audiologist, you have never experienced anything like the covid 19 pandemic. What are some of the strategies that we as a family and a team implemented that really resonated with you and, you know, got you extremely excited to come back into the office and see our patients?

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

Clearly, this was a new area of challenge for all of us. But I think, you know, a topic we've we've touched upon, is this being somewhat anticipatory? We know off times, what should what should happen, we know what would be a good idea. And COVID really unleashed lots of opportunities for us to use ideas and concepts that we had never used before, to again, put them into play. COVID gave us the opportunity to be innovative, to be anticipatory, and will change the way in which we do business from this point on.

Blaise Delfino:

Absolutely. And what we did as a family to Gary is when you know, we were of course hosting the Hearing Matters Podcast and as soon as you know, we got wind of oh, my gosh, we're not going to be able to reopen for you know, another six to eight weeks. We're not the type to just sit around and neither are you, so my father and I, we were just releasing a weekly podcast episode. And it sort of was the springboard that we needed to continue to release as much content and we wanted our patients to feel connected to say, Okay, I can I can listen to the Hearing Matters Podcast, I can hear Dr. Delfino's voice, Blaise's voice, and have that sense of normalcy. Right? Absolutely. Gary, this is really exciting stuff here. When we talk about innovation and Oticon is being you know, one of the world's leaders in hearing healthcare. Oticon recently released the Oticon MORE, which is the world's first hearing aid with deep neural networks or DNN, while you launched the Oticon, more in January 2021. There was absolutely a lot of prep work that had to be done in 2020. Right, so you, so you and your team are navigating the company, you also have your r&d team, who is excited to release this new hearing aid, what all goes into a successful product launch? And what do you believe made the Oticon MORE launch so successful?

Gary Rosenblum:

It's a great question. And you have about three hours because we can go through it. The first thing I want to say about this is we obviously we knew we were launching Oticon MORE on January 12 2021, we knew that was going to happen in probably April or May, the prior year, which by the way, it was right when COVID was starting. So all bets were off in terms of how you normally do a product launch. Normally in the hearing aid world, you do a big event, you rent out a convention hall or facility in a nice hotel, and you'd invite your customers and you spend the weekend together talking about the products, the product features, how to sell the product to patients, etc. And it's very much a live event that is the industry norm every manufacturer does that. So we we started going down that path, because we assumed in April that COVID would be done by June or by July. So we we continue to kind of go down that path. And then this is really you know, a credit to the entire Oticon staff. This is not just the executive team, they started to realize that if we want to make this a good launch, we got to think differently about this. And we have to basically make a judgment call by saying we don't know where COVID is going to leave us holding a live event in the middle of a pandemic is not a smart thing to do. Considering you want your you want to make sure that your your customers and ultimately your patients are aware that you're also trying to keep everybody safe. So you know it but we also are balancing that well how that how do we launch this effectively because all we know as a as a hearing aid manufacturer when it comes to a platform launch this wasn't just a blind extension, this was a a new chip, you know, a new platform that we were launching, how do we make this as effective as possible? So we kind of went down this dual path for a while, well, if we're if we're going to do live, let's, let's plan this way, if we're going to do a virtual, let's plan that way, and we kind of went down this dual path, after a while, you know, in talking to again, this is the entire Oticon staff is not just the execs, they kind of convinced us that we need to cut bait and do a virtual launch. So, because we just don't know where things are gonna land. How does that actually manifest itself, though, we've never done never done a virtual launch for a platform before. And also, as you can imagine, like we said before, there's a lot of financial elements and objectives riding on this event, this is the biggest launch we've had since Oticon Opn. So we wanted to make it good. We want to reach as many customers as possible, but we can't do it the way we normally did, the way that we normally have, because those other past launches, even Opn S and even, you know, to an extent some of the line extensions after Opn were successful launches. But we just had never done virtual before. So we worked with a a event management company, and we got very engaged in how to make this an effective virtual launch. The concept of deciding on the virtual launch was probably made, I would say in July or August. And then as well, how do we make that really effective? And how do we make that as exciting as other launches that we've done in the past. And it meant that we don't just do a one launch day. We do a an experience over the course of two months. So I'll get up in front of folks, Don Schum, our VP of Audiology will get up in front of people to talk about the technical elements of the product. You know, our some of our audiologists on staff will also speak to how to sell it to patients. But it's not all going to be this one day events because people sitting in front of their computer for a day it would be a disaster, right? So we broke it up into about six or seven different smaller events over the course of a month or six weeks, webisodes etc. To make it the Oticon MORE launch experience rather than a launch day. And I think that made it very manageable for our customers. And because we had the ability to reach a lot more customers than we normally would in a normal live event you might have at most 1000 customers. That's the max, when we reached 4000 customers on our first day.

Blaise Delfino:

Wow. I mean, that's amazing,

Gary Rosenblum:

Right? So then see at 4000 people informed about the product and can ask more questions about it, and then ultimately buy the product and then dispense it with their patients. That turned out to be a major learning event for us as a team because we were all looking at each other saying, Well, why don't we do this in the future, regardless of whether or not COVID exists? Because we will, of course, do live events in the future because it's great to, again, interact face to face with customers, but we can balance that with a virtual event as well. Yeah.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah. So that's a lot of learning a great learning opportunity.

Gary Rosenblum:

know, it's it's amazing to me that we didn't think of it before, because it's not like virtual events didn't didn't exist before COVID. But it's just that we were so locked into the way we've always been doing things right that that COVID actually kind of to the whole theme of this conversation today is it kind of facilitated some innovation. So now when I think well, you know, we will have some events either later this year, or early next year. Those events will probably be these these hybrid events where it's virtual as well as live.

Blaise Delfino:

Well I'm looking forward to hearing Don Schum speak live hear you speak live. Our friend Doug Beck, speak live Necole, yeah we're excited to see the team and you know, congratulations on a successful launch. We have to say, Gary, the patients that we have fit with the Oticon MORE, they are truly enjoying their new hearing world and Dr. Delfino and I hosted our own in house independent research study over the summer with Oticon Opn S. So we're finishing our literature with that and we'll be sharing it with the team. And we're excited because we're going to essentially dovetail off the independent research we conducted with the Opn S with the Oticon Opn MORE and Dr. Delfino, what are you most excited about what this next independent study that you and I host here at Audiology Services with Oticon MORE?

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

What we've found from the Oticon sound is that it is unique even with the Opn S. And by that I mean, we've placed other manufacturers instruments on folks, and they have told us that it is the sound of the Opn S that they prefer. There is something very special about that instrument. I'm excited to see how will we, the MORE is going to be part of our patients that we fit for central auditory processing, how well they are best able to reorganize to to recalibrate the way in which they hear and respond. The MORE is is an exciting instrument and I'm I'm very excited to start the research on that.

Blaise Delfino:

We're very very excited. So because the the results that we had with the Oticon Opn S for example, one of the participants Gary presented with 90% difficulty hearing, we use the abbreviated profile hearing a benefit with the Opn S ones brought this particular participant down to 15%. That is significant, quite a significant difference. So, really excited for Oticon. The MORE is on, of course, that Polaris platform. Gary, what I don't believe a lot of our listeners know is that you're also a musician, and you have a deep passion for playing guitar, and singing. Now for those tuned in how you and I actually got connected and my mother, we met on an airplane coming back from an Oticon next event is when you got when your team launched Opn S, I was in front of you, you were right behind me. And then it was we were getting off the plane. We landed and said, Oh, you know where you from? You had your guitar there. I said, oh, we're in Nazareth, Martin Guitar is here. You know, we invited you to the office. And that's how you know this friendship started. And you're you're a great guitarist, you really enjoy music, and you have a great passion for it. So when did your passion for music occur?

Gary Rosenblum:

It was all because of you Blaise. You've inspired me.

Blaise Delfino:

Thank you, Gary. Not not Dr. Beck?

Gary Rosenblum:

Oh, Doug, actually, maybe it's both of you. No, I you know, it's funny, you asked that question. I get you're revealing a lot of my, my early history here, I'm afraid this is gonna come back to haunt me later. So when I was in high school, I was had the unique experience of going to a high school. This is Syosset High School on Long Island in New York. Syosset High School is one of the few high schools in the country that has a radio station. Okay. It's an actual act like working radio station, 10 watts. So it basically gets to the end of the parking lot. But basically, it's for the full town of Syosset. And I was intrigued, I joined this radio station. And, you know, it introduced me to the world of, you know, rock and roll. And hence, I was very involved in all aspects, I ran the station, you know, for for, for a year, which was my senior year of high school, which was great. And, of course, at the time, this is 1988. So I'm revealing a lot more information about it. But heavy metal was very popular and rock and roll was, was, you know, the Hard Rock and classic rock was extremely popular. So that essentially got me interested in the music. I didn't really start playing guitar until after college, I had a very, very good friend, who was a virtuoso guitarist, and watching him play in a band and watching him enjoy it really compelled me to, to pick it up. And then when I was 23, I guess I tried it for the first time. And, you know, I didn't play it very much for probably a decade. And then really, after, I think, I got married, and I had a lot more time at home that I was spending a lot more time at home, I got really into it. And really the last probably the last 1015 years, I've gotten very, very focused on playing. And during COVID you know, you're at home, you get to play every day. It's a boring conference call, pick up the guitar and play. Right. Yeah, exactly. But it's, it's been it's been a great experience. And like, I know, Dr. Delfino and I were talking right before this, this podcast, and it's, it's almost addictive, and it's a very positive addiction, because it takes your mind off everything. And it keeps your brain really sharp. You know, and it's, and it's wonderful to be able to reproduce some amazing music that you've heard, so I love it.

Blaise Delfino:

You're using both hemispheres of the brain when you play music. So Gary, you know, every fall, we have a patient appreciation event. And we host it at Martin Guitar, you know, we're sort of sad. I don't know if this year with everything going on, we'll be able to have it again. But you know, it goes true to our roots of music. We love music. I remember I sent you my cranial nerve rap, which we still have to cut in the studio for our Hearing Matters Podcast and on Instagram. So Gary, being a leader in the hearing healthcare industry and president of Oticon you have this passion for music you love playing guitar. How important is it for business owners and business leaders to have hobbies outside of the office?

Gary Rosenblum:

Well, you know, you guys have all seen the movie The Shining?

Blaise Delfino:

Yes. Yeah.

Gary Rosenblum:

All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy or whatever. What is it? What was it that Jack Nicholson was typing that day? You got to have things you got to have interests outside of your of your of your work. And that interest can't just be family because that's also work sometimes. I mean, I have I have two young kids who I love and adore but it's work you know, being with them. So having an outlet to exercise or to play music is critical to keep your keep your brain sane. So that's I think it's especially for people in like the three of us who have very intense jobs, we're you know, we're managing businesses. So being able to have that outlet is critical. I think to keep your keep yourself happy.

Blaise Delfino:

Dr. Delfino you're of course a musician as well, which I don't think a lot of our patients know but you have a heck of a voice. You're an incredible drummer, you play guitar. How important is it to have hobbies out side of the office as well.

Dr. Gregory Delfino:

For me, it really has been sounds cliche, but it's been a lifesaver. It really does. It keeps you focused more on what the task at hand is. Music just takes you places where you would not go normally it just, it's a whole nother world and playing a playing a an instrument, with any regularity, you start to develop your either your skills or better, you're hearing more sounds you're expanding. So it's not only just in the initial enjoyment of it, but it's creating greater skills, greater ability on the instrument. So it makes a huge difference just on my day to day living.

Blaise Delfino:

We always want to make sure that we can implement and use this platform, especially for our patients, Gary, because we live in a different world today, you know, navigating change, managing stress and social isolation because we know, comorbidities linked to untreated hearing loss, that being stress, anxiety, depression, things of that nature. And of course, now living in a world where we're, we're so connected, we're almost disconnected right now. But at Audiology Services, we want to make sure that we're keeping the connection with our patients and what we call them part of our hearing family. What we've found is that, you know, we truly believe in the importance of visiting a hearing healthcare professional and well today we live in a day and age where, you know, we're social distance, we're doing telehealth, things of that nature. Gary, how important is it for individuals who feel as though that they do present with the hearing loss to visit a audiologist or licensed hearing healthcare professional?

Gary Rosenblum:

I think it's paramount. I think that's something that is so critical, just like, you know, it's very difficult to have a telehealth visit to a dentist. Right? It's the same thing with your ears, you need a professional to look at your ears and to identify if there is a sensory neural issue that you're dealing with. So and this is something that is very core to Oticon's values in that we design our instruments, we design our approach to addressing hearing loss with the audiologist and the hearing instrument specialist in mind. Because we know that the satisfaction level, the ability to actually deliver better patient outcomes. It's not related to our instruments, it's related to the work that you guys do. And I know we're sort of at the end of this this interview. But I think it's really important that your listeners understand that that we it is it is absolutely so critical. If you as a as a as a hearing loss sufferer or as a professional believe, that there's a there's an opportunity to kind of circumvent face to face interaction with a patient, I think it's that you're missing a huge opportunity there. And again, it might be a short term gain. But the real benefit is not just to you, it's to the patient. And a patient needs to have that interaction with the with the healthcare professional and the hearing care professional in order for them to get the best possible care that they can get. And I know that you guys do that here at Audiology Services. So it's great to see that I'm glad you asked that question because it's very much in line in line with the way that Oticon thinks as well.

Blaise Delfino:

Dr. Delfino You and I always say and Gary, thank you so much for that, because that's parallel to our core values. Here is the importance of visiting a hearing healthcare professional, Dr. Delfino and I always talk about going beyond the audiogram. And hearing health care is not an Add To Cart model, you need to visit a hearing healthcare professional. Gary, we are coming to a conclusion of this episode. And we're curious to know, what are you most excited about with regard to the hearing healthcare industry?

Gary Rosenblum:

It has to be innovation, there's there's no doubt and you know, when I joined the hearing care world in 2016, I was just blown away at the and I'll give my competition credit here as well as the level of technology innovation that has that is happening every six months. You know, it is such a it is an industry where the the pace and the cadence of innovation is so strong, that it's just an exciting place to be. So I'm curious to see, you know, in six months from now, what what is it that our r&d department has come up with? And what does it look like in you know, in a year in two years, because with Oticon MORE, we believe this is a really strong product, right? But our r&d department is not resting on their laurels and calling it a decade. You know, they're they're already looking at the next innovation. So to me, and this is, you know, I've been a product guy since I graduated from college, I've always been in the business of selling and marketing products. So innovation is the lifeblood, and that makes it so exciting. So it's really for me, that's the most exciting thing to see is to and of course there's different business models and different service models and all that but to me the core product. Innovation is absolutely the most exciting thing. And we have we have products now that reduce noise in between the syllables of words, right that people were actually seeing them in Hearing aids are that fast.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah. It's incredible.

Gary Rosenblum:

It's incredible. So, you know, and what does that mean in just in two years from now, you know, and I just, I think the the world that we're in and you know, some people may look at the hearing care world as a stodgy industry. It's not at all it is super high tech. It's med tech. And there's a lot of really cool things happening all the time. And it makes it very, very exciting. I mean, that's why I love my job because every day something new is popping up. And sometimes it might be a challenge. Sometimes it might be an opportunity, but it keeps things very interesting.

Blaise Delfino:

Gary again, on behalf of Audiology Services, thank you for visiting or town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and you're always welcome to the Lehigh Valley. The door's always open. You're tuned into the Hearing Matters Podcast with Dr. Gregory Delfino, and Blaise Delfino of Audiology Services and Fader Plugs. On this episode, we welcomed president of Oticon Mr. Gary Rosenblum, and we discussed leadership in hearing healthcare. I'd encourage you head on over to Apple podcasts, leave us a five star review and if you have any questions, go to the description on the podcast website and send us an email. Until next time hear life's story.