Hearing Matters Podcast

Redux Hearing Aid Dryer feat. Matt Hay

April 27, 2021 Hearing Matters Season 2 Episode 23
Hearing Matters Podcast
Redux Hearing Aid Dryer feat. Matt Hay
Show Notes Transcript

About the Hearing Matters Podcast
 
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, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services.

Redux, the Latest Technology for Drying

In this episode, Blaise Delfino speaks with Matt Hay, director of marketing and sales for Redux, the company that makes the newest system for drying hearing instruments. Matt lives in Indiana, where Redux is located, and travelled to Nazareth for this episode.

Matt explains that Redux is a professional in-office hearing instrument dryer for hearing aids and implants. Hearing aid dryers have been around for a long time and they basically just use hot air and a fan. 

Matt Relates his Journey to Better Hearing  

When Matt was in college, he began to notice that he had trouble hearing in one ear. He tried to ignore it. But with time, his hearing continued to get worse. He went to an audiologist, who recommended he get an MRI. It showed that Matt, now 19 years old, had bilateral acoustic neuromas, or tumors on the hearing nerve. He was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis 2, or NF2. 

Matt went through the grieving process about losing his hearing. He first was in denial, but after getting reinforcement from others that his hearing loss was profound, he got hearing aids. He was thrilled to be able to hear. He remembers hearing the bird chirping and his feet hitting the sidewalk. But eventually he needed an auditory brain stem implant, or ABI. Because his nerves were damaged by the tumors, hearing aids or a cochlear implant could not help. Doctors surgically implant electrodes into his brain stem. The surgery is extraordinarily complex and often causes adverse side effects, however Matt was fortunate to have very few.

Learning to Hear Again 

Matt had devised ways to cope with hearing loss before getting the implant, so he able to adapt with the support of his family and friends. He used music as therapy. He asked himself, “What songs do I want to hear in my head for the rest of my life, in case I never hear again?” He created a play list of songs that he listened to over and over. 

After the implant, Matt says everything sounded like a gravel truck. He listened to music because he knew how each song was supposed to sound. He made progress, and after the first year, he became better at differentiating sounds. He has had the implant now for 16 years and believes music helped him to be able to differentiate speech. He is now totally deaf, but has 95 percent speech recognition, thanks to the implant, his music therapy and the support of wife, parents, immediate/extended family and his colleagues.

A New Career

After working for the same company for 20 years, Matt was feeling that he wanted a change. He was involved with hearing healthcare as a volunteer, raising money and awareness for nonprofits. However, he genuinely wanted a job that would enable him to feel that he was helping people each day. 

During a ski weekend, his implant fell into the snow and no longer worked. Once back home, Matt’s wife mentioned to a neighbor about what happened, and the neighbor told her about Redux. Matt took his implant there, and they put it in what was then a phone dryer. It turns out the company was looking for someone who could oversee a Redux that would dry hearing instruments. Matt signed on, and the rest is history. 


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 have Matt Hay, joining us all the way from Indiana. And Matt works with the company Redux, Matt, welcome to the show!

Matt Hay:

Thank you very much for having me, it's been a great day.

Blaise Delfino:

It is awesome to have you. You're visiting us here in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, you took the trip. And you and I have been communicating via email for quite some time now. And when you said you know what Blaise I want to come out and visit you and the team and the family, you know, we of course welcomed you with open arms. And today has been such an awesome day.

Matt Hay:

Well, I haven't traveled like a lot of people for 14 months and my family said, if you could go anywhere I would said I would like to fly to Newark, rent a car and drive to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, now here I am.

Blaise Delfino:

Here you are!

Matt Hay:

Dream come true.

Blaise Delfino:

It is right. So Matt, we are very excited. And I can't say it enough to have you on today's episode. Because Redux is number one, such an incredible product, we use it here in the office. But what's really interesting today is really all about you. This episode is about your journey with hearing loss. So for our listeners tuned in right now, Matt does experience hearing loss and he's going to share that story with you, but before we really jump into the meat and potatoes of it, Matt, can you briefly explain to our listeners, what Redux is? Because we have a fun task we're going to do here, at the beginning of the show.

Matt Hay:

So Redux is a professional in-office hearing instrument dryer, safe for hearing aids, implants, like the one I have and hearing a dryers had been around for a long time. They use hot air and a fan. They were mostly unchanged since the invention of wind. I mean, they and they they work fine. I hope people use those at home dryers often. Redux is a professional version of that. Every hearing aid has a level of moisture in it, even if it's not causing a problem now, it will eventually. Redux as a solution to that moisture problem. So we created this magic little box that removes moisture from hearing aids in about eight minutes.

Blaise Delfino:

And that it does, Matt. So what we're going to do is I have an Oticon Xceed 1 ultra power hearing aid here with a 675 battery, brand new battery. All right, we're gonna close it up. And we're actually going to put this hearing aid in a cup of water during the entire show. And then when we're done, we're going to Redux the hearing aid. We're going to Redux it, bring it and we're going to see how much moisture we pull out. I'm going to put this up to the microphone. So maybe our listeners can hear that feedback. The hearing aid is on it is working. Okay, so now we're just going to drop that into the cup of water. Okay, so that hearing aid right now is in water. And I can actually hear it feedbacking in the cup. And just for purposes of the audio, I'm actually going to just move it now, Matt, when we started today's episode, I had mentioned to our listeners that you too experience hearing loss and when you came to visit us and we had the opportunity to speak with each other this morning, before we started seeing patients, your story is just incredible man like it really is.

Matt Hay:

I appreciate that

Blaise Delfino:

So share with us your background regarding your own hearing loss.

Unknown:

So I grew up in southern Indiana, and had a pretty traditional Midwest childhood and mowed lawns for for extra money. Went to Indiana University and over the course of a semester notice I was having trouble hearing on the phone. And not to age myself but it was a landline. And as the phone got quieter, I'm 19 and feel about as invincible as most 19 year olds do. And naturally assumed that it was my phone that had a problem. I needed a better phone, even though I could hear totally fine out of the other ear, it was still my phone. As that hearing in my one ear went a little stuff from fine to to dead over the course of two semesters at college. I would oh I'm going to the encouragement of pretty much everyone I knew I went to see an audiologist and was almost immediately diagnosed with severe hearing loss in that one ear a mild hearing loss than the other. They suggested I get an MRI. Very few 19 year olds go to an audiologist, even fewer 19 year olds go to an audiologist with the recommendation of having an MRI done. I assumed again that the audiologist was probably wrong. But I got an MRI anyway, and it showed bilateral acoustic neuromas, which are tumors on your hearing nerve. Fortunately for me being proactive with my hearing care was able to identify these tumors before they cause problems beyond just hearing loss. So I was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis two, or NF2, and bilateral tumors is one of the classic diagnosis of that disorder.

Blaise Delfino:

Matt, that can be scary. That can absolutely be scary. And when we talk about the psychology with regard to those who present with hearing loss, what is going through your mind? When the audiologist says we need to get you an MRI?

Matt Hay:

I think it's a process of grief, and I there's their stages of grief. And I think hearing loss, you go through similar stages, and the first one is denial, my hearing loss isn't that bad! Or, well, that's not going to happen to me. And you can feel that way until the people around you start saying no, your your hearing loss really is that bad. Or did you hear what I said? And you start getting this context in life that starts suggesting that maybe your hearing loss is a little bit worse, where people walk in a room and turn the TV down, and you didn't realize the TV was that loud. So you start getting reinforced that maybe your hearing loss is there. So as you come to terms and go through that stage of denial, it made it a little bit easier to say, okay, I'm going to go get help, but I'm going to go get help so I can have the professional tell me I was right, and you're wrong. And then a professional says, no, no, you've got pretty significant hearing loss. But yeah, that I mean, I just summed up in 60 seconds, what was probably an 18 month process of even then saying, okay, now I need to get a hearing aid. What are those steps involved? Because it's hard to get hearing aids at any point in life, because it's accepting some kind of weakness or perceived weakness about you, it was certainly hard for me at 20. I didn't have a lot of peers wearing hearing aids at 20 years old.

Blaise Delfino:

And we know that that hearing loss does not discriminate. You know, there are individuals who are 7,8,9 years young, who present with hearing loss, and there are individuals who are 60,70,80,100, who present with hearing loss. So being in your early 20s. Yeah, when you're experiencing all of these new life experiences, that can be absolutely very difficult. What do you think drove you to become the positive individual that you are today? You know, because you went through those stages of grief, and through the treatment process, but what do you think drove you to kind of encompass this positive mental attitude?

Matt Hay:

I think I was just I'm fortunate that I have always tended to be a glass half full kind of person, hearing loss, and NF led to a lot of physical challenges, emotional challenges, that I was not prepared for at 20. It helped absolutely, that I had friends and family that surrounded me, and even though my hearing loss was and continues to be a big part of what I think about every day, no one else really, really knows or cares. Ya know it's, like a lot of things, you get a haircut and you don't like it and you're very self conscious about it, and no one else notices it.

Blaise Delfino:

No one notices you just got a haircut.

Matt Hay:

Nobody notices it. And so this is the same way where if I can put my ego aside about this and say, this is going to help me function, it's going to improve my relationships, it's going to make me a better friend, because I can communicate more easily. The benefits certainly outweighed the risks or any ego aspect of it. And the hypocrisy to me, I've also, I think my my dad's influence on me as being just very pragmatic, very practical approach to things as I wore glasses. And at no point in in the process of being 16 and needing to get glasses, you know, in high school, did I ever was there was no stigma about it. There was no oh dear, why me? It was oh, my, my eyes don't work as well as they should. I can go to a professional and have this thing put on my head that's gonna make me see better. Absolutely I'm going to do that. I see it right now with my kids getting braces, they go to the dentist and have a professional help them why in the world that I make this big thing out of getting hearing aids. So I went and got hearing aids and I immediately heard by walked out and I heard birds chirping that I forgot I heard the sound of my feet on the pavement that I forgot. And I thought I can't believe it took me 18 months of anxiety to lead up to this moment.

Blaise Delfino:

Individuals who present with untreated hearing loss will experience increased anxiety. Absolutely. Now, Matt, it's interesting. Can you please share with us what it was like learning to hear again with your auditory brainstem implant? What was that process like?

Matt Hay:

So first, the invention auditory brainstem implant is an ABI and So hearing aids are common cochlear implants are becoming more common, the ABI is not common. And there's, there's a few reasons for that, you know, hearing aid helps process sound in your ear canal, sort of step one and your hearing process. If a cochlear implant helps with step five, and you've got electrodes in your cochlea, my tumors caused damage to my nerve. So hearing aids couldn't help, it would be like repainting lines on a highway. But the bridge is out. You know, it doesn't matter what I do, and steps one through nine, it's it's the bridge at the end that connects to the brain where I had damage. So an ABI bypasses all of that, and they surgically implant electrodes to your brainstem, your body is not designed to have electrodes surgically attached to your brainstem. So when they turn that on your your brain says, woah, this is not how I work and everything sounds like a gravel truck.

Blaise Delfino:

Well, what was that experience like? Because earlier, you were sharing with us that when those electrodes are turned on, your body can sometimes respond in a very unnatural way

Matt Hay:

That well, your your brainstem controls pretty much everything.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah, absolutely.

Matt Hay:

And it's only a couple inches in diameter. So there's a whole lot, I mean, billions and billions of things happening in there every second. So the idea of going in and sewing on a little mini flyswatter and saying, we're pretty sure this is the part of your brainstem that processes sound, just explaining that now it sounds like I'm making it up. And so when they do that, you don't know, am I hitting the right spots so is it going to hear at all? Or am I hitting it, maybe you hit the wrong spot where the sound that comes into this electrode is going to cause your arm to vibrate or your vision to blur. So I was very fortunate that I have very few side effects from this. So I really began to learn to hear from scratch. What helped with that though, if you're going to lose hearing, I recommend you lose it the way I did, which is slowly over a decade. And and I say that in just, but I knew those tumors were going to keep getting bigger and cause more hearing damage.

Blaise Delfino:

Sure.

Matt Hay:

So we did my my girlfriend, now wife at the time did what we could to prepare for that some of it was taking sign language. But when no one else knows the language, it's hard to keep. Like if the two of us took Latin how useful is that if no one else speaks Latin, I learned a lot of coping mechanisms or at the time, I could hear better out of one ear than another. So I would get to restaurants early sit in a corner, so my Good eear faced out and I didn't have background noise, I wouldn't do things in groups of three. Because if you go with an odd number, you always end up being the odd man out in a conversation. Whereas one on one or even with couples made communicating much more easy. And I became pretty good at lip reading, unknowingly, I sort of unintentionally became a very good lip reader. So eventually was my hearing aids got bigger and bigger because they needed more output for my hearing loss. I got a little bit better at coping with my loss and my environment. So when when I did get my ABI, I had done sort of a decade of accidental homework to prepare for that even listening to music was a big part of that too, which is a whole other conversation.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah, Matt, and and as you're sharing with us what you and your wife had to do to prepare. Number one, you're in your early 20s, and you're you're putting a lot of things into preparation.

Matt Hay:

Yeah.

Blaise Delfino:

And that in and of itself being younger kind of makes you grow up a little bit quicker. Yeah, right.

Matt Hay:

Certainly did.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah, absolutely. And just that, you know, I make that statement from an earlier conversation you and I had today, in terms of preparing for your new hearing world following the you know, the auditory brainstem implant, you actually use music as you know, physical therapy, essentially. And we were talking about, you know, music therapy. And there's a lot of different thought leaders in our industry right now who are using music therapy. What was that experience like?

Matt Hay:

It's funny to look back on that now because it wasn't intentional at the time. It was just me trying to figure out what what would work best. So you're right, I lost my hearing from 20 to 28. Well, in that time, you graduate for me graduate from college, move out really on my own, get your first real paycheck, first job starting your career, getting engaged, married, thinking about kids buying a house, all of that happen in in the shadow of declining health. And I had a neurosurgeon tell me at one time, he said, hey, you're gonna lose your hearing, but it's not that big of a deal. Which sounds like the kind of thing that you say when you're someone who's not about to lose their hearing. Right? his, his point was, the ABI is there that could help but there's a lot of other health risks with NF2, that we need to be aware of so, so to have this piano of health hanging over my head, and so when you I think I might not ever hear again. Or I might not be able to walk after spine surgery. What do you want to do? What do you want to cram into life before those realities set in? So I really just, I was never someone that turned to music to feel certain ways. But I forced myself to do that what you know, what if I never get to hear the Beatles again? Or what what songs do I want stuck in the head in my head for the rest of my life? What what lullabies do I want to sing to my kids? So I started really creating a soundtrack and I didn't, I wasn't self aware enough at the time to think of it this way. But I was, I was creating a soundtrack of a life that I had not yet lived well. And so it was just selfish of what really, what songs do I want stuck in my head at different moments. So when I did lose my hearing, and eventually had ABI implanted and started hearing again, and initially for the first year, I said, It sounded like a gravel truck, year two, I had, I guess, quote, unquote, progressed enough that I could now differentiate between one gravel truck versus another, you know, or my wife's voice sounded like a vacuum cleaner, sweeping up rocks. And that was progress.

Blaise Delfino:

Wow, okay.

Matt Hay:

So I turned to music and initially listen to music because I said I, I had listened to those on repeat over and over again. Well, now let's listen to let it be. Because I know you know what that's supposed to sound like. And it was just gravel trucks, yeah. So initially, it was very discouraging over time. And I've had my implant now for 16 years, and I still have a playlist of 66 songs. It's on my phone right now. And I've been listening, much to the dismay of my family, to the same 20, 40, 60 songs for the last 15 years. Because those are the songs that I kind of picked that were meaningful to me. And I can't hear you know, you mentioned a couple of bands earlier, and I might know the names, but I can't hear new music, because it's too much sound, the miracle of the brain, I can listen to let it be and there was a muscle memory. Where, if you tell me this is listening to let it be, and I hear those chord progression, my brain says that's Let it be, I can hear that song, and in my head, I can pick right up with the lyrics and everything is going on. And I truly feel like I'm listening to the song. If I close my eyes, and you picked let it be randomly and I didn't see that that was flying. I'm not sure I could have until the last couple of years identified it. But my brain said, that's what it's supposed to sound like. And I think as it connected those dots, it became very literally hearing therapy for me, certainly good for my soul. But physically, I think it helped my brain to understand. This is what a note sounds like this is what middle C sounds like. This is what these chords are supposed to sound like. And it was almost like a Rosetta Stone for my brain to say, Oh, that's what that note sounds like. Now I know when I hear that note anymore, it's supposed to sound this way. I'm at a point now where my even my I mean, I'm deaf. I am literally bilaterally deaf. And I put 12 electrodes on my brainstem. And as soon as the magnet connects to the side of my head, I have nearly 95% speech recognition when I can see and hear somebody talk. And I'm totally deaf.

Blaise Delfino:

And that my friend is incredible. Your story just gave me goosebumps man like seriously because that is just a reminder of why we do what we do as hearing healthcare professionals. Now, of course, we're not working with you know, ABIs or CIs. That's absolutely a specialty.

Matt Hay:

Right. And I yeah, and I and I understand that there's sort of there's certainly a unique aspect to the ABI and that my story is kind of turned up to 11. But it's a story that it's a story that 10s of millions of people go through. I mean, one of the reasons that I'm here today and one of the reasons that I'm even in this industry is at and I'm I still can't tell the story without getting choked up. I can remember being at a computer on Netscape Navigator sitting in our guest bedroom in Chicago, and about to get an ABI and terrified about brain surgery and terrified like somebody is going to sew a hearing aid to my brain. And I wanted to find out what that was like there was no Facebook, there was no social media. The hospital got approval to have somebody send me their email addresses and AOL account. I emailed the guy in Alabama.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah.

Matt Hay:

And he replied back with a full page of how miserable he was. And I can't remember feeling as lost and alone through the entire process as I did that day when I thought I have nobody to share this experience with or to tell me, here's what stinks. Here's the part that really hard, but here's what's great and if you work at it, this will keep getting better. And I very vividly remember thinking, I want to make sure nobody ever feels the way I do right now. And and that was a driving factor for me getting involved in health care, because at 24, it was a low point. And I thought, what can I do to help? It took me about 15 years to figure that out. And one of many great things to me about Redux is, it's given me an opportunity to sit here with with people like you that are committed to helping other people

Blaise Delfino:

To hear life's story. Right to hear life's story, Matt, thank you know what, thank you so much for sharing what really is an incredible story, and we were talking about leadership earlier, and you just finished the book, Good To Great on the plane ride here. And you know, you are such a servant leader, you were telling me earlier that you lead with humility. And your story is inspiring to so many individuals, you had the chance today to meet a few of our patients and share your story. And they absolutely appreciated that, you know, because you are leading the way you are the light for those individuals who are going through what you've gone through, and the support that you can provide them. That's incredible.

Matt Hay:

And I appreciate you saying that, but it's not. I still think of myself as the guy walking with a cane because of and I've got a cane to walk glasses to see a hearing aid to hear facial paralysis. That means I can only smile halfway. It's not hard to be humble. Right? When you know, you've got 19 different things to just help you cross the street each day,

Blaise Delfino:

Matt, your story is absolutely incredible, and today, has been so inspiring. So your story sort of inspired you and that sort o,f it really did inspire you to enter the field of healthcare, specifically, hearing healthcare.

Matt Hay:

Yep.

Blaise Delfino:

Now, how did you end up at Redux?

Matt Hay:

I worked for one organization for close to 20 years, you know, we change a lot of people, there's a reason why you probably don't meet a lot of I'm 44. Now there's a reason you don't meet a lot of people that work for the same company from age, you know, 21 to 40, we change a lot or goals change. What makes us happy changes, my primary driver eventually after yearr 19 was they have good insurance. And at that point, we had a few kids, it seemed one terrifying, but also maybe a little bit irresponsible to be a 40 year old, who can't hear just to walk away from a paycheck and great insurance, because I wanted to do something different. So I stayed there for a long time, in the meantime, started getting involved with doing work for more hearing related nonprofits, fundraising, for NF2 research and other hearing loss organizations. And that filled my heart, I had another job that filled my head. And it was mentally challenging, they filled my pocketbook. It was good job, but it wasn't the kind of thing that I wake up and think I'm this is what I've always wanted to do. You know, there, I feel like I at the end of the day, I've made the world just a little bit better. And after 20 years, I thought I had maybe earned the opportunity to give that a try. So I started looking at what other opportunities there might be, whether that's working with a manufacturer, or working with cochlear, or a corporation that makes my implant and started meeting people in the industry. And I couldn't find the right fit for me, but I loved all of the people that I met and I just gave me a greater incentive of this is the path that I needed to be looking at. So I kept looking sort of half on half off and we went on a ski weekend in northern Michigan. And I'm shockingly the guy with that balance is terrible skier and I'd fallen in my implant fell in the snow. By some good luck, I happen to dig through the snow and I found it

Blaise Delfino:

Oh my gosh

Matt Hay:

Took it out, it didn't work, right. And again, bad skier, we get back and because I make irresponsible decisions, sometimes I thought I'm gonna go get in the hot tub don't get in the hot tub and outdoor hot tub if your hearing aid or implant already doesn't work well because of water. And so it stopped working were seven hours I mean, Northern Michigan is is far from a lot farther from things than people realize. So it did what everybody does. In that instance, you put it in a bag of rice, which essentially does nothing but you feel like you're doing something. Well, we still had two days of vacation left. And so I didn't get to hear any of my friends, that other families that we were with there. And now the responsibility of my wife overseeing three kids on ski slopes is no longer enjoyable because she's got to do all of the like listening and protecting right. So we get back and I make an appointment with my ENT office. Of course it takes five days even for a rushed appointment. And I'm gonna have to take a half day off of work and pay to park and pay a copay and then they're going to send it back and it's going to take another week and in the meantime, I'm going to use this old implant that I have so it was just frustrating knowing how much was going to be involved in sending my wet implant back. We got back and Nora had mentioned to a neighbor, you know that I couldn't hear because of not treating my implant, right. And she said, why our company dry cell phones, rechargeable lithium ion powered cell phones. And we have these dryers, and we're headquartered in Indianapolis, Matt should go talk to them. So I had my loan aid in. And I went and met with our president, a gentleman named Ruben and learned about what he did. And I said, can I put my implant in there? And he said, Sure, we'll dry it. For real though, like, it's not you guys dry phones. And he goes, I don't know, we'll get all the moisture out.

Blaise Delfino:

This will work and it won't ruin my implant?

Matt Hay:

And it's not a joke to say that my implant, I mean, if I had to choose between my house and my implant, I'm not sure which I would pick I mean, it is that important to my livelihood.

Blaise Delfino:

Yes.

Matt Hay:

So he said, yeah, put it in, it'll be fine. I'm like, what are you gonna do to it? He's like, well, we create a vacuum and we increase heat and he started explaining it. And I thought, Man, I'm giving these I don't I've only known you for a half hour, and I'm giving you the most important thing in my life physical item. He's like, oh, oh, yeah, it'll be fine. So I put in there, and 12 minutes later, I took my implant out. And it sounded better than it did before I went skiing. And I couldn't believe it, and so Rubin was there was kind of this mix between, I'm happy that you're happy. And I told you so. So I mentioned to him after that, well, hey, you know, I, I've been looking to get into the hearing care field for the last year or more aggressively, I haven't been able to find what is the right fit for where I am. And he said, it just so happens, we just came back from the American Academy of Audiology event in Columbus, Ohio. And he used to work for hearing aid manufacturer, and he said, I know that all at whim to a million subscribers that use Redux to dry phones were in 2000 locations, and hearing aids are 10 times the opportunity, because they get wet they just they get what they put them in your ear for 1000s of hours. People sweat, there's humidity in the air. Yeah, I know. They get wet. They're incredibly sophisticated. It only takes a tiny bit of water, and they and they stop working or they maybe don't work as well as they should. So do you want to work with us? And as we launched this into audiology and a handshake and an hour later, I was the director of Audiology for Redux. And it's been an I'm this might sound disingenuous, but I really can't overstate. It's been the most rewarding thing I've done professionally in my life. Well, I mean, I'm here today. And watch you three times patients have come in, and I've watched you guys take moisture out of their aids every single time. It's, it's just amazing. And I sometimes I have to forget and think, Oh, wait, this is my company, right? This is how cool it is. I'm taking pictures of it like, this is what I do. And I think back to 24 year old me, and I think 24 year old me would be pretty proud of what 44 year old me is. And then it would not even remotely on my radar of this is how I would be in the industry. But it's pretty cool. And I I mean, I just summed up 20 years of a lot of hardship. So it wasn't, it wasn't an easy path at all, but worth it. And I think, you know, as I listened to some of your patients, and I just I can identify with so much of what they deal with the embarrassed, you know, do I really want people to see me wearing hearing aids or as they work to get through that and they weigh the risk versus benefit of AIDS. Like I get it and and I just am so fortunate to be in this industry and the fact that I am in it talking about myself still seems a little bit unnatural. But I if that helps somebody else, I'm glad to do it.

Blaise Delfino:

And it absolutely is helping so many other individuals, Matt who are on their new hearing journey truly. And today, you had the opportunity to you know, join our hearing family here. Me literally literally, literally are you've met the entire family. And we had a couple really our measurement sessions today you saw your first in person, real ear measurement.

Matt Hay:

I sent a note right afterwards to your program and Oticon Aid and I sent a note right after to a friend that works with Oticon and I described it as Star Trek star only it was just it was just amazing, really cool. And then to watch the patient's reaction and then the way that you can see that they were doubtful. You know that you were said hey, we're gonna make them sound better today. It's been a year since you've been here. Let me do some things, and just the surprise in their face. Oh boy, that really does sound better. Absolutely. And and I will so I work, I'm in sales and marketing for Redux. So this is certainly subjective, in my opinion about Redux. But a lot of what I do is so much in theory, you know, that we see there's an opportunity for this. What has been so great for me today, and I keep sending notes to my teammates internally, is to see you in practice incorporating so many things that we have brainstormed and thought, wait, wouldn't it be great if as soon as a patient arrives, somebody just collects their hearing aids and dries them before you do anything else? And I was in your lobby waiting and I saw somebody come out and take a patient's hearing aids and run them back. And he said, yeah, we do this just prior to real ear measurement, so that when we program with that we're not programming on top of the presence of moisture. And last week, we had a meeting talking about how can we operationalize this in combination with real ear measurement. And so to see you guys applying, not every day, multiple times every day, literally just practices that we talk about in theory. That's why I'm in Nazareth today.

Blaise Delfino:

I sent you an email. So we had connected a couple months ago. And I had done my research on Redux, what it does. the importance of it. When you said, Listen, I'll send you the system for a month, just try it out. So I was like, okay, yeah. And I emailed you.

Matt Hay:

You had your doubts.

Blaise Delfino:

I did. You know, I, I wanted to see how we can really implement this into the office. I think what we talked about earlier today is here at Audiology Services, we are early adopters, and we believe in innovation, because innovation drives the world. Yeah, right. When we had Gary Rosenblum, president of Oticon On the Hearing Matters Podcast, we talked about the importance of innovation. So with that being said, with Redux, we had it for a month. And I sent you an email, I said, Matt, we did 109 treatments within the past month, and you're absolutely right, we're utilizing the Redux every single day, multiple times a day, if we have 15 or 20 patients in a day, we're going to use the machine most likely 15 to 20 times, because our patient satisfaction is really important. We want our patients to hear the best that they can every single day. And this was just setting this trip up and you coming on the podcast, you know we're doing this because we love using the system, I can honestly say that, I don't think I could operate an audiology practice without a Redux system. Because when patients bring in repaired instruments, like let's just say the instrument sounds weak. Yeah, before I even change a speaker, or, you know, extract wax, I'll put it in the Redux. And here at Audiology Services, we do about 90 to 95% of of the repairs in house. Obviously, we can't change the guts of a hearing aid. But the Redux has been such an incredible addition to our office, and we invested in it for our patients, it's for the patient, how will this help the patient? It's really important. So when we talk about innovation, Matt, share with us, you know, the importance of embracing new technology. We live in a day and age where there's all this new tech coming at us. What is the importance of new technology for both patients and practices?

Matt Hay:

So it's an it's not a secret that the last year was hard for everybody. But I think also the last year was an example of how important being able to communicate really was. And so to use a non hearing aid example how long had Skype been around you know, Skype has been doing video calling for decades, I've logged on once used it. I know I haven't tried Skype, so it might be way better now. But initially when you're when you're deaf and you're like, oh, well video conferencing is a thing. It was always like Max Headroom. If you remember the Max Headroom it was just choppy. So it wasn't effective. In the last year, I've seen more amazing video tech. I mean, I use zoom hours a day, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, all have this great video of probably Skype is vastly improved now. I use Otter AI, capturing technology

Blaise Delfino:

We love Otter, works great.

Matt Hay:

And I don't work for either of them so I'm not playing anybody here. But all of this innovation that has come out and I think if I had been stuck at the mentality of well, I tried Skype and it didn't work. But there are new things coming out all the time. So in this particular industry, there are over the years there are a lot of people that come and go when they're looking to make a quick buck, selling some something that is a fad. We are focused every day on not being that. I think anybody that has ever heard from Redux, you're going to ask about Redux. You're going to hear from us within 24 hours. It's not a send an email off and never heard anymore. If you're interested in using it, we'll send you one, we'll cover the shipping there, use it for 30 days, if you need 36 days, if you need 39 days, I'm not in the business of counting days, I mean, this is to making sure you are happy and convinced that this is something that can help. If you don't like it, we'll take it back. We want to remove all of the risk from you. And we can do that because people have that 30 day experience like you do. And there are other Reux's out there not necessarily hearing a dryers that work the way do we do. But there's other technology. You know, cognition is a big thing right now, or there's some ways to more visually understand audiograms. There's improved software, I would recommend just being open to new ideas. Just because your mentor didn't do it or the place that you did your fourth year externship didn't do it isn't because it wasn't great. It's because it might not have existed then. Water has been around for a long time. Water is nothing new.

Blaise Delfino:

And it will be

Matt Hay:

Yes, we hope and so it is a is really the longest standing issue in water and electronics have never gotten along. And so and someone asked, someone said once well, if Redux really worked, they would have been invented a long time ago. And it didn't exist until a couple of years ago. So we have provided a new solution to one of the oldest problems out there. Just Just try it, you don't even need to believe me, Dunk an aid put it in there. Do you have it eight minutes and 30 seconds of your time. Let that tell you. So, you know, be open to those ideas. And from a patient standpoint, you have a lot of options when it comes to hearing care, there's a there's a whole

Blaise Delfino:

Sometimes too many options.

Matt Hay:

The I want everybody to have Redux. So I believe that hearing care should be a service that is not a product. I see people all the time ask about what brands are the best. I would rather see people asking what service did you find was the best?

Blaise Delfino:

Absolutely.

Matt Hay:

I've had my audiologist for 15 years, and we share photos of our children. I don't know what brand of anything that she uses. I don't know what software I don't know. I mean, I know that my implant is cochlear, but that's all. I chose her and stayed with her because she always put my best care first. There was never a time where I questioned whether or not I was being rushed. Whether or not her motivation was to sell more batteries, or to get me to come back to buy something else. And I've been with her for 15 years and have referred everybody that I've everyone I've ever talked to that went to Riley, which is the hospital that I get to, I have always mentioned her by name, which she'll even say, Matt, that's not, you don't need to do that.

Blaise Delfino:

But you just had such a great experience.

Matt Hay:

And so I just, I think that if you start focusing too much on and this again, from a patient standpoint, is stuck focusing too much on price. And you get away from service, that you make yourself a commodity. And someone's always going to be able to beat you on price no matter what someone's always going to be able to go in cheaper. We were talking before,

Blaise Delfino:

Over 20 years for sure. you know, good fast cheap, pick two, yep. If you if you if you go price, you've just made yourself the lowest common denominator. Now you can also have good service, they're not mutually exclusive. I just believe that long standing relationship is going to be with a person that I feel has my best interests first, is looking at what technology can help make that experience it's very best. ou know, I saw you using real ar measurement. I had two, hree years ago, I'd never heard f it. I don't know how long t's been around, but I know hat I didn't know it existed.

Matt Hay:

Yeah. And after seeing the response from your patients of what, you know, the computer kind of initially said versus what real ear measurement said, like, well, this is a no brainer to me.

Blaise Delfino:

Yep.

Matt Hay:

And obviously I feel that way about Redux too. But those are all just ways of utilizing technology to improve the service that you can provide patients so they can hear better.

Blaise Delfino:

You're tuned in to the Hearing Matters Podcast with Dr. Gregory Delfino, and Blaise Delfino of Audiology Services and Fader Plugs. Today we had Matt Hay from Redux join us, talking about the importance of a dry hearing aid and in order to accomplish that, to my fellow hearing healthcare professionals, give Redux a try. And Matt we're excited because you and I kind of had some ideas going back and forth. For our fellow hearing care professionals, you tuned in to this episode. Now, if you reach out to Matt, his contact information will be in the description of this episode. Use promo code hearing matters podcast and you will receive 10% off your Redux system. Really excited for this. And Matt, you know, now is the drumroll for how much moisture we're actually going to pull out of the hearing aid we put in the cup. So would you say over or under seven microliters?

Matt Hay:

Ah man so the batteries

Blaise Delfino:

It's been 45 minutes.

Matt Hay:

The battery is still in there, so there might even be some moisture on the battery, which I think will not in the battery, on the battery. So I think that I will add a little bit more. So I'm going to go over, over over seven.

Blaise Delfino:

Well, if you want over seven I'm going under 7.

Matt Hay:

I painted you in a corner there.

Blaise Delfino:

Yeah, just a little bit. No, so the last time we did this, and I put that same hearing aid in water for six hours.

Matt Hay:

Yeah

Blaise Delfino:

We pulled out 10.4 microliters.

Matt Hay:

Oh so you had, you weren't sharing all the information you had available.

Blaise Delfino:

So in the description, we're gonna put how much moisture we removed. Thank you so much for tuning in. Matt, thank you so much for joining us here on the Hearing Matters Podcast, safe travels home, and until next time hear life's story.