Phonak Launches Roger Focus II, a Mini Hearing Device That Receives a Teacher or Parent’s Voice Across the Room

Tiny ear-level receiver is a potential option for children with Unilateral Hearing Loss, Auditory Processing Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder

STÄFA, SWITZERLAND / ACCESSWIRE / February 22, 2021 / Phonak, a leading global provider of life-changing hearing solutions, is today launching the second generation of Roger Focus, the tiny ear-level receiver that allows children, teens, and adults to hear a speaker’s voice via any Roger™ microphone. Research has shown that speech recognition in noise is significantly improved for children with Unilateral Hearing Loss1,2, Autism Spectrum Disorder3,4 and Auditory Processing Disorder5 when using Phonak remote microphone technologies like Roger Focus II compared to no technology.

Potential applications for Roger Focus II include:

Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL)

UHL affects 1-3% of school children6,7 and left untreated, can impact a child’s behavior, social engagement, and anxiety levels.8,9,10 Emerging research shows that when using Roger Focus II, children with UHL have 53 percentage-points better speech understanding in noise at five meters distance compared to their normal hearing peers and even show significant improvement in quiet environments compared to no technology.11

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Some children on the Autism Spectrum with normal hearing have “functional hearing loss,” which is loosely defined as a hearing loss with no natural or physiological cause.12 In other words, these children have impaired auditory filtering that makes it difficult to hear, function, and complete tasks in the presence of background noise.8 Parents reported improved listening in children with ASD and teachers reported that classroom attentiveness, behavior, and listening improved in children with ASD when using Phonak remote microphone technology like Roger Focus II.13,14,15

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Children with APD may also experience functional hearing loss despite normal hearing and may have difficulties with spatial sound processing and word discrimination. This can result in poorer behavior, attention and concentration7 while leading to negative psychosocial effects like social withdrawal, difficulty with interpersonal relationships and increased anxiety.16 Speech understanding in noise is improved significantly in children with APD when using Phonak remote microphone technology like Roger Focus II compared to no technology. Meanwhile, students report improvement in anxiety, depression, and interpersonal relationships.

“Roger Focus II was developed to help children overcome the challenges of hearing over distance and in background noise so that they can focus on what matters,” said Angela Pelosi, Director of Global Audiology at Phonak. “As a leading innovator of world-class pediatric hearing solutions, it’s critically important that we provide children with unilateral or functional hearing loss the confidence that they can fully participate in everyday activities-and the Roger Focus II does just that.”

The new Roger Focus II is available in a new lithium-ion rechargeable option or a traditional zinc-air battery featuring a tamperproof battery door. It received an IP68-rating for water and dust resistance and has new coupling options to fit even smaller ears than its predecessor. The rechargeable version comes in ten assorted colors and offers up to 20 hours of battery life on a full charge.

Roger Focus II is intended for kids over three years old and is available to order today via licensed hearing care professionals in the U.S. and other select markets.

For more information

References

1. Jones, C. (2014). Roger Focus for school children. Field Study News. Retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed February 2021.

2. Rance, G. (2018). Remote microphone listening devices for adults and children with unilateral hearing loss. Phonak Field study news. Retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed February 2021.

3. Rance. G., Chisari, D., Saunders, K. and Rault, J.L. (2017). Reducing Listening-Related Stress in School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(7), 2010-2022.

4. Schafer, E., Gopal, K., Mathews, L., Thompson, S., Kaiser, K., McCullough, S., Jones, J., Castillo, P., Canale, E. and Hutcheson, A. (2019). Effects of auditory training and remote microphone technology on the behavioral performance of children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 30(5), 431-43.

5. Kristin N. Johnston, Andrew B. John, Nicole V. Kreisman, James W. Hall III & Carl C. Crandell (2009) Multiple benefits of personal FM system use by children with auditory processing disorder (APD), International Journal of Audiology, 48:6, 371-383

6. Bess, F. H., Dodd-Murphy, J., & Parker, R. (1998). Children with minimal sensorineural hearing loss: prevalence, educational performance and functional status. Ear and Hearing, 19(5), 339-354.

7. Wake, M., Tobin, S., Cone-Wesson, B., et al. (2006). Slight/mild sensorineural hearing loss in children. Pediatrics, 118(5), 1842-1851.

8. Ashburner, J, Ziviani, J, Rodger, S (2008) Sensory processing and classroom emotional, behavioral, and educational outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 62(5): 564-573.

9. Johnston, Kristin N., Andrew B. John, Nicole V. Kreisman, James W. Hall, Carl C. Crandell, Kristin N. Johnston, Andrew B. John, Nicole V. Kreisman, James W. Hall, and Carl C. Crandell. 2009. “Multiple Benefits of Personal FM System Use by Children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).” International Journal of Audiology 48 (6): 371-383. doi: 10.1080/14992020802687516.

10. Lieu, J., Tye-Murray, N., & Fu, Q. (2012). Longitudinal study of children with unilateral hearing loss. Laryngoscope, 122, 2088-2095.

11. Neumann, S et.al (2020). Roger Focus II in children with Unilateral Hearing Loss. Field Study News, manuscript in preparation

12. Schmidt CM, Am Zehnhoff-Dinnesen A, Deuster D. Nichtorganische (funktionelle) Hörstörungen bei Kindern [Nonorganic (functional) hearing loss in children]. HNO. 2013 Feb;61(2):136-41. German. doi: 10.1007/s00106-012-2504-3. PMID: 22534679.

13. Rance, G., Saunders, K., Carew, P., Johansson, M., & Tan, J. (2014). The use of listening devices to ameliorate auditory deficit in children with autism. The Journal of Pediatrics, 164(2), 352-357

14. Rance. G., Chisari, D., Saunders, K. and Rault, J.L. (2017). Reducing Listening-Related Stress in School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(7), 2010-2022.

15. Schafer, E.C., Wright, S., Anderson, C., Jones, J., Pitts, K., Bryant, D., Watson, M., Box, J., Neve, M., Matthews, L. & Reed, MP. (2016). Assistive technology evaluations: Remote-microphone technology for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Communication Disorders. 64:1-17

16. Kristin N. Johnston, Andrew B. John, Nicole V. Kreisman, James W. Hall III & Carl C. Crandell (2009) Multiple benefits of personal FM system use by children with auditory processing disorder (APD), International Journal of Audiology, 48:6, 371-383

Media relations contacts:

Global
Florence Camenzind
Phone +41 58 928 33 25
Email: [email protected]

U.S.
John Urbaniak
Phone +1 331 204 2799
Email: [email protected]

About Phonak

Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, was created in 1947 out of a passion for taking on the most difficult hearing challenges. Seventy years later, this passion remains. As the industry’s leading innovator, we offer the broadest portfolio of life-changing hearing solutions. From pediatric to profound hearing loss, we remain committed to creating hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. We believe in creating a world where ‘Life is on’ for everyone.

At Phonak, we believe that hearing well is essential to living life to the fullest. For more than 70 years, we have remained true to our mission by developing pioneering hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. Life is on.

SOURCE: Phonak

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