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August 8, 2017

Guest Speaker: Eric Parker

Eric ParkerThe  Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium welcomed guest speaker Eric Parker on May 16, 2017. Parker is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Widex USA, and used his insights and experiences to offer our audiology students an optimistic perspective on the future of audiology.

Parker started with a discussion on the current state of our field, revealing the alarming statistic that less than 25 percent of amplification candidates are currently fit with hearing aids. One possible reason for this is the lack of a national awareness campaign around hearing loss, along with many public misconceptions surrounding audiology and hearing loss. Parker suggested that although audiology organizations should be more responsible in spreading advocacy for our field.

The current Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was another hot topic of the night. Although many expressed concerns with the bill, Parker provided an optimistic perspective. He reminded us that not only would passage of this bill increase awareness, but also it can increase job opportunities for future audiologists. In some states, pharmacies are already hiring audiologists. Similarly, stores like Best Buy are predicted to begin hiring audiologists as technology levels in hearing aids continue to advance.

Some hearing aid companies are making hearing aids that can monitor overall health and fitness, almost like a “Fitbit hearing aid.” Similarly, hearing aids will soon have built-in trackers if devices are misplaced. More importantly, this can potentially serve as a GPS tracker for caretakers of individuals with dementia who may get lost or wander from home.

The future of audiology is certainly bright, and we appreciated all of his optimistic insights. This event served as a reminder to all of us that we have a rewarding future ahead of us!

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Todd Wilson
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