Some 8,300 conference delegates from 83 countries turned the 62nd International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians into our industry's record breaker! The trade exhibition featured 135 exhibitors from twenty-one countries showcasing innovations from hearing aid technology, measurement equipment, and accessories. Twenty lectures and seven tutorials provided specialised further education and vocational training, and stimulated fruitful discussions. Barry A. Freeman from Florida (United States) brought up the issue of over-the-counter devices in his presentation. The industry update on Thursday demonstrated the importance of individually fitting hearing aids.
As part of the opening ceremony, Martin Blecker was talking to Tanja Bülter, a journalist and TV host, and to German actor, Fritz Wepper. Both of them wear hearing systems and were positive that hearing aids made their lives worthwhile, and that "they would be useless without hearing aid acousticians who fit the devices."
EUHA president Martin Blecker awarded the EUHA's Golden Badge of Honour to Marianne Frickel, president of the Federal Guild of Hearing Aid Acousticians (biha), for her professional commitment. The research award from the Research Association of German Hearing Aid Acousticians (FDHA) foundation was presented to Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Walger, head of the Department of Audiology and Paediatric Audiology at Cologne ENT University Clinic, with a laudatory speech given by Prof. Dr. Karin Schorn.
Eva Keil-Becker, who heads the sponsorship award jury, lauded the recipients of the eighth EUHA Sponsorship Award. Marlitt Frenz, M.Sc., was awarded first prize for her thesis entitled "Evaluation of noise cancellation and directional microphone technology in hearing aids". Anna Ruhe, B.Sc., came second for her thesis on "Precision and user-friendliness of web and app-based hearing screening". Third prize went to Christina Fitschen, B.Sc., who dealt with a "Comparison of speech intelligibility using different wireless remote microphone systems (FM systems)".
Just short of a hundred representatives of the media from Germany and abroad attended the Congress. On Wednesday, a special programme for them was offered providing them with information on training as a hearing aid acoustician and technological innovations including 2.4 GHz technology, and options for having announcements at railway stations or in trains streamed directly to hearing systems. A new hearing system was introduced which gives natural sound quality to the wearer's own voice, increasing spontaneous user acceptance and offering best possible speech intelligibility. Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones and hearing systems as well as options for having spoken words translated into other languages using hearing aids were demonstrated.
Access to the 62nd International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians was granted using e-tickets. For the first time this year, delegates were able to purchase a voucher for their electronic ticket ahead of the event, scan the bar code at the entrance, and have the admission ticket printed out on the spot. Thus queuing up at the pay desks was avoided. One Congress attendee took only twelve seconds from arriving at the NNC Ost building to passing the turnstile – that's about as fast as it gets!
Photos: EUHA/Foto Rechtnitz