"Never before had I met an audiologist who listened so intently, engaged so professionally with my problems and inspired such confidence."

An innovative audiologist from Germany has won a prestigious European award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the hearing industry.

Benjamin Schadow, Owner of Hörstil in Erfurt (Germany), has been announced as the 2018 European Audiologist of the Year (AOTY) [1], just weeks after scooping the German Audiologist of the Year title. The judges were particularly impressed by his innovative use of the latest technologies, including 3D printing, to find bespoke solutions to the hearing difficulties of his patients.

In a moving nomination, patient Karla R, explained how she had developed hearing loss on both sides as a child as a result of chronic otitis media, and found that standard devices were aggravating her condition. As a result, she was struggling to hear what was being said during phone calls, work meetings and social conversations. But thanks to customised ear pieces produced with the help of a 3D printer and fitting a number of auxiliary devices in her workplace, she is now confidently able to actively participate in wide range of activities.

She said: “Never before had I met an audiologist who listened so intently, engaged so professionally with my problems and inspired such confidence. With the technical equipment (Mr Shadow’s is the latest and is state-of- the-art, which I have never seen before) the hearing devices were perfectly adapted. I am very glad to have found such a terrific hearing care professional.”

AOTY, now in its 11th year, honours Europe's top hearing professionals, as voted for by their hard of hearing and deaf patients, who have received excellent levels of support, service and care from their audiologist. Celebrating a decade of industry excellence, a panel of independent hearing care professionals came together over the summer to read through the hundreds of nominations from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. Each nominee was scored on the dedication, commitment, knowledge and levels of care demonstrated in their patient’s entry. A winner was selected from each of the participating countries in September before the overall winner was announced in October during the EUHA Congress in Germany.

Competition Judge Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General for EHIMA, said: “We are proud to be part of a competition that brings so many professionals from the industry together to recognise their life-changing accomplishments. It was hard to pick a winner from so many moving nominations, but the judges all agreed that Benjamin is a deserving recipient off this award, demonstrating a level of care that goes well beyond the consulting room. We were also impressed with his insightful use of latest technology to provide innovative solutions to his patients’ hearing challenges.”

Other country winners who were in the running for the European title were: Bridgitte Harley (UK), Julien Benoist (France), Wilgis Schoffelmeijer (Netherlands) and Myriam González Maycas (Spain).

For more information please visit the website. 

[1] The competition is organised by Rayovac, a world-leading hearing aid battery manufacturer and division of Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., in partnership with Audio Infos, a leading international hearing publication for the audiology industry, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH).