Hearing Aid Demonstration Tool

Development of a Demonstration Tool for
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids


The master thesis project “Development of a Demonstration Tool for Bone Anchored Hearing Aids”, by Ellen Hultman and Samantha Lütkeman Pukala, was carried out at the department of Product and Production Development at Chalmers University of Technology. The project has been performed in collaboration with Cochlear BAS situated in Mölnlycke, Sweden.

Bone conducted hearing is an alternative when single sided deafness, conducted hearing loss or a mixture of the two occurs. The bone anchored hearing aid provided by Cochlear, called Baha, consists of three parts and require a surgical procedure to be implemented.

The project to come up with a new design of a demonstration tool was initiated as Cochlear defined a number of barriers to why patients refrain from the aid even though perceiving improved hearing. In addition new solutions to the Baha system will soon enter the market, which is why the company requested a new way to promote the Baha system options.

The final concept is a handheld product facilitating the conversation between the audiologist and patient. By interaction opportunities the tool promotes the patient to take a more active role during the counseling situation, aiming to create an understanding and build a relationship to the product. To overcome preconceptions the demonstration tool clearly and simply presents the different parts of the Baha system in relationship to placement by an ear. A soft asymmetric grip creates attention and subtle colors and shapes support the presentation of hearing aid.

Research for the design was done through interviewing audiologists working with the Baha system and observing patients during Baha consultations. Analyzing company core values, communication strategy and competitors in addition resulted in a context analysis. The analysis set the foundation for an idea generation to meet all needs and move design focus from being technology driven to softer values. Several concept evaluations together with Cochlear representatives resulted in a final result where materials, manufacturing, use experience, and visual appearance have been accounted for.

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