August 05, 2021 — CogniFit Inc.
CogniFit has entered into a partnership with the Audiological Care business of the Sonova Group. They are a leading provider of innovative hearing care solutions based in Switzerland. Sonova assures exceptional, state-of-the-art audiological care that’s presented in a modern and attractive environment. But that’s not all. They are backed by the highest technological standards in hearing aids and in-store diagnostic and fitting equipment.
This partnership will see Sonova Audiological Care leverage CogniFit’s leading cognitive technology and expertise in a unique way. The goal? To build next-gen digital solutions that support individuals with hearing impairment. Also, to train the cognitive skills that are essential for understanding speech and maintaining overall cognitive agility.
“We are truly excited to be a part of this innovative project and to have the opportunity to work alongside Sonova’s Audiological Care business and help improve the lives of people by building a more integrated approach to audiological care solutions.”Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of CogniFit
When asked about the partnership with CogniFit, Dr. sc. Martin Kirchberger (Director of Clinical Deployment Europe at Sonova Group, shared this sentiment) said this…
“At Sonova, and with our Audiological Care business, we are continually pushing to elevate our health service offerings for our consumers. Our partnership with CogniFit creates the unique opportunity to address hearing loss more holistically. We hear with our ears, and we understand with our brains. We now have a fantastic auditory-cognitive training tool in our offering thanks to a wonderful collaboration with CogniFit.”
WHO IS SONOVA
Sonova operates through its core business brands Phonak, Unitron, Hansaton, Advanced Bionics. They also work through the brands of the Audiological Care business, e.g. AudioNova, Geers, Boots Hearing Care, Connect Hearing, and Lapperre.
They offer their customers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry. This includes things from hearing instruments and cochlear implants to wireless communication solutions.
Founded in 1947, the Group has a workforce of over 14,000 dedicated employees. Supporting the “Hear the World Foundation”, Sonova and all its brands pursue the vision of a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and therefore living a life without limitations.
SONOVA PARTNERSHIP AUDIOLOGICAL CARE + BRAIN TRAINING
Age-related hearing loss is very common in our society. About half of the population over the age of 65 years (and up to 90% of individuals over the age of 80 years) are affected by ARHL (Cruickshanks, Zhan, & Zhong, 2010; Lin, Niparko, & Ferrucci, 2011). Speech understanding not only involves the auditory perception of sounds but also relies on cognitive functions (Lemke & Scherpiet, 2015).
With age, comes changes in cognition such as:
- Inhibiting interfering information
- Decline in performance on cognitive tasks that involve quick processing of information
- Holding and manipulating recently received information to make a decision
The Expert for Audiological Health Services at Sonova, sums up the importance of this approach…
“As the prevalence of age-related hearing loss increases with the aging society and as hearing loss often comes with comorbidities It is becoming clear that integrated services are going to play a key role in holistic audiological care. If we want the best outcomes for older individuals we will need to focus on the full range of physical, cognitive, and social health outcomes. This partnership represents a big step in that direction.”Dr. sc. Maren Stropahl
HOW IS THE SONOVA PARTNERSHIP INTEGRATING COGNIFIT TECH?
Sonova’s Audiological Care business will develop a unique companion app. The goal is to accompany their audiological solutions for customers with age-related hearing loss.
This app uses CogniFit’s powerful API to integrate assessment, training, and monitoring technology into the Sonova ecosystem. For customers, this means a simple and intuitive user experience.
HOW THAT APP WORKS
Upon completing the app’s registration process, the user will take an initial evaluation. It lasts roughly 10 minutes and assesses the user’s baseline scores across a number of core cognitive skills. These include Focused Attention, Phonological Short-Term Memory, Divided Attention, Working Memory, and Auditory Perception. All of which are needed to personalize the training course.
These scores are calculated on a scale from 0-800. And, they represent the individual’s performance compared to other individuals in the same demographic group. For example, a score of 400 represents the average score for all individuals in the group.
Based on the results of this initial evaluation, a personalized training program is generated for the user. The training program includes a series of scientifically-backed cognitive stimulation tasks. But these aren’t mind-numbing tests. They are presented as fun and engaging video games. Each of which focuses on one or more of the associated cognitive skills.
The training program uses CogniFit’s patented algorithms to automatically adjust the difficulty of each task. This provides each user with a challenging yet balanced training experience.
As the user progresses through their training, they will be able to track the evolution of their cognitive skills through the app’s simple dashboard. By pairing traditional hearing solutions with this cognitive training companion app, Sonova’s Audiological Care business is able to extend its portfolio of offerings and provide a more comprehensive audiological service to its clients.
WHEN WILL THIS NEXT-GEN TECH BE AVAILIBLE?
The Sonova partnership roadmap plans for a first MVP product release before the end of 2021. But they will also give continuous product updates during the next 24 months. During this first phase, Sonova’s Audiological Care business will roll out this new solution through their subsidiary brands in four key markets: Austria, Australia, The Netherlands, and Canada and the solution will be available in German, Dutch, and English.
 The National Institutes of Health, 21 March 2021, Quick Statistics about Hearing, The US Department of Health and Human Services, accessed 14 may 2021,
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