STRATEGIC VISION

With the initial hurdles of launching a new venture in 2018 and the early growing pains of being a new center now behind us, we tackled the task of clarifying our strategic vision for the next 10 years. The resulting Strategic Vision outlines where hearing-related issues stand now, where we want to see them in the future, and the strategies and initial tactics that will get us there.
 

  1. Our ability to hear and engage with others and the environment around us is foundational to healthy aging.
  2. The widespread prevalence of hearing loss, which affects two-thirds of all adults 70 and older, is not going away – preventive
  3. The Cochlear Center focuses on what can be done now across five core areas (population health evidence, public awareness, care models, healthcare policy, hearing technology) to address hearing loss in older adults at scale.
  4. The mission of the Cochlear Center is to educate and train a generation of clinicians and researchers around the world to work across these healthcare policy, hearing technology) to address hearing loss in older adults at scale. five core areas using public health approaches and methodologies.

POPULATION HEALTH EVIDENCE

AT PRESENT

  • Hearing is not routinely considered in epidemiological & health economic studies
  • Population health methods for hearing assessment & analysis are often flawed

STRATEGIES & INITIATIVES

Bolster inclusion of hearing and consistent analytic methods in population health studies.

  • Ongoing Center faculty/trainee-led research
  • Integration of hearing into large population health studies
  • Disseminate methods developed by the Center’s Audiology & Analytical Cores
  • Promote SENSE Network to build an infrastructure that supports international sensory aging research efforts 

IN THE FUTURE

  • Hearing is routinely considered in studies of older adults resulting in robust evidence
  • Established methodology for hearing measurement and analysis routinely used

PUBLIC AWARENESS

AT PRESENT

Poor awareness of what hearing loss is, what one’s own hearing is, how to obtain care, and how to address hearing loss

 

STRATEGIES & INITIATIVES

Establish a common language and metric for understanding and discussing hearing loss.

  • "Know your PTA” initiative
  • Partner with other groups (public-focused and clinician-focused) to disseminate knowledge

IN THE FUTURE

  • Everyone knows their PTA
  • General principles are known around what hearing loss is, how it can influence other issues in aging, and how to address it

HEALTHCARE POLICY

AT PRESENT

Outdated with respect to current understanding of importance of hearing to health and functioning of older adults, technology advances, role of services vs. devices in hearing care

STRATEGIES & INITIATIVES

Be a go-to resource for decision makers regarding hearing care and funding policy.

  • Disseminate policy briefs to educate policymakers
  • Engage influential national and international advisory bodies to address hearing loss

IN THE FUTURE

Insurance policies routinely cover hearing care and distinguish between the role of hearing care services versus technology

Healthcare policies and guidelines routinely account for importance of effective hearing to optimize health outcomes and promote patient autonomy

HEARING TECHNOLOGY

AT PRESENT

  • Highly consolidated hearing aid market focused on high-margin segments
  • Hearing aids and hearing technologies are considered a niche product

STRATEGIES & INITIATIVES

Champion OTC hearing technologies and development.

  • Support market-shaping regulations around OTC hearing aids that can ensure safety and efficacy
  • Support development and implementation of Bluetooth LE audio standards for broadcast sound transmission

IN THE FUTURE

  • Broad technology choices exist for hearing
  • Effective hearing is incorporated into all aspects of life through universal design of technologies

CARE MODELS

AT PRESENT

Clinical model of in-person 1:1 care between patient and clinician is the dominant model.

Massive economic and racial disparities in access to and utilization of hearing care.

STRATEGIES & INITIATIVES

Develop, test, and disseminate other models of care, particularly those focused on task sharing to expand workforce.

  • HEARS model
  • ENHANCE model

IN THE FUTURE

Diverse models of care at all levels of accessibility and affordability are available to consumers/ patients depending on their preferences and needs