Representatives from European professional associations which represent hearing instrument manufacturers met in London at the prestigious Royal College of General Practitioners, with the aim of sharing best practise and encouraging each other in their role of raising awareness about the benefits of hearing technology.
As a professional body which represents the hearing technology manufacturers of the UK and Ireland, one of BIHIMA’s roles is to work in collaboration with other professional, trade, regulatory, charitable and consumer organisations, in a joined-up approach to raising awareness about hearing loss and hearing solutions.
It was in this spirit that BIHIMA was delighted to host the first European Hearing Industry Associations Forum, which brought together the hearing industry associations of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. The day-long event, chaired by EHIMA (the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association), was intended to enable the exchange of experiences, challenges and good practices from the various markets, as well as identify possible fields of joint activities to address together.
It was encouraging and thought-provoking to hear presentations from all the Associations, sharing information about the supply of hearing instruments in their own markets, activity highlights, and their challenges and priorities.
There was also an afternoon session on a shared European research initiative, the Eurotrak report managed by EHIMA, an online self-assessment questionnaire about hearing loss and hearing aid usage which is repeated every three years. The findings are very illuminating and contained some vital take-homes for the industry; the latest conclusions from the UK data can be accessed here.
“In ageing European societies in which hearing loss is rapidly increasing – in England alone, estimates warn that there will be 13 million people (a fifth of the population) affected by hearing loss by 2035 – there is a greater need than ever for our representative bodies to play their part in raising public awareness about hearing loss; we hope that this network of communication with our European partners will continue to strengthen our ambition and output, working together for a society which properly prioritises its hearing health.”
– Paul Surridge, BIHIMA Chairman