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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Wednesday 17 July, 2019 1:00 am |

Starkey to utilize power of artificial intelligence to empower people with disabilities

Artificial intelligence is making inroads into several industries, however, the recently launched world’s first AI enabled hearing aids by ‘Starkey Hearing Technologies’, has become the cynosure of all eyes globally and in the region.  The company is scheduled to participate at the ‘AccessAbilities Expo’ that takes place in Dubai later this year and support the people with disabilities. Apart from imparting their wealth of knowledge around hearing health at the Expo, Starkey will also demonstrate the unique features of Livio AI, to enable such people to eventually follow a fulfilling lifestyle.


AccessAbilities Expo is the region's dedicated event, that aims to bring the world's latest assistive technology products with the goal of enhancing lives of more than 50 million people with disabilities. Livio AI which will be showcased at this Expo is the world’s first Healthable™ device that utilizes the power of ‘artificial Intelligence’ and ‘integrated sensors’. 


“It’s an honour to be a part of an event of this stature that is aimed at enabling the people with various levels of disabilities. Such platforms help us to realise our own vision and make lives richer by empowering such individuals to reach their full potential in life. We would be utilising this exhibition to highlight the value we can bring to the people affected by hearing challenges. An estimated number of 16 million people suffer from various degrees of hearing loss in the Middle East region.  Currently, this number is on the rise due to several lifestyle choices made by people, especially the youngsters,” said Giscard Bechara, Director of Starkey MEA FZCO. 


As per the World Health Organisation, around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and 34 million     of these are children. It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss. Hearing health is essential to overall health and wellness. 


At the Expo, Starkey would be elaborating various ways by which people with disabilities can use this device. Livio AI can also analyse their physical activity and cognitive health by measuring hearing aid use in social situations. This device uses the power of artificial intelligence to track brain and body functions making it the world’s first multi-purpose hearing aid. It also features the first-ever fall detection and alert capabilities and translates 27 languages instantly including Arabic. 


The R&D team at Livio has paid special attention to these devices to further enhance the lives of people with disabilities. With advanced environmental detection, geotagged settings, a natural user interface and now a rechargeable option, Livio AI is the ultimate in sound quality, in usability and a multi-functional, must-have device.  


Earlier this year, a total of 260 athletes from across 67 countries were able to hear clearly for the very first time in their lives, through the hearing aids provided by Starkey during the Special Olympics that was held in Abu Dhabi. Some of these athletes had partial hearing loss which was then completely rectified. Around 478 hearing aids were fitted on these athletes and out of these 54% of them were male athletes. ‘Healthy Hearing’ program provided comprehensive hearing screenings, follow-up recommendations, and education on the importance of regular ear and hearing screenings.  


“The key challenge is raising awareness among people suffering from hearing issues but haven’t sought medical intervention, until there is significant hearing loss or damage to the ear. As part of the CSR campaign Starkey aims to educate people suffering from mild or partial hearing loss to visit an ENT specialist or an audiologist. It is important to diagnose hearing loss during earlier stages. Hearing loss significantly alters quality of life and the sooner one starts to hear better, the sooner can they lead an enriching life,” concluded Giscard.

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