Audiology OnLine October 12, 2015
Responding to the Demand for Rechargeables: Interview with Sara Sable Antry, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, ZPower
Carolyn Smaka: The new ZPower Rechargeable System uses ZPower silver-zinc batteries with patients’ existing hearing aids, or any new hearing aids that you recommend. How do you retrofit the hearing aids?
Sara Sable Antry: What we have done that is truly remarkable is made a neutral system that works with patients’ existing hearing aids, or any new hearing aids you recommend. We know that patients today want rechargeability. They come in and ask for it. New patients expect it. MarkeTrak 9 indicates that of the top 10 features consumers want in hearing aids today, a rechargeable hearing aid is #2 and rechargeable batteries is #4. Until now, you could only offer rechargeable if you worked with certain manufacturers. What if you were part of a company that limits the number of manufacturers on contract? What if rechargeable was best for the patient but your preferred manufacturer didn’t offer it? We believe that rechargeability shouldn’t be a competitive advantage; it should be a standard offering. The patient’s needs should determine the features of a hearing aid – right down to the power system. We’ve achieved that. The ZPower Rechargeable System is binaural – it is comprised of two battery doors that contain electronics, our silverzinc batteries and the charger. Professionals simply replace the patients’ battery doors with the doors we provide, put our battery cell in the battery door, and that’s it. It’s that simple. The charger is designed so that the hearing aids are always inserted correctly; it makes it very easy from both a convenience and dexterity standpoint. The charger has a steel plate on the door and a magnet in the base; the magnet guides the hearing aids into the correct position.
Carolyn: That sounds easy.
Sara: Yes, considering all the various comorbidities we may see in our patients who have hearing loss including dementia, vision loss, arthritis, neuropathy, and more – there are many, many reasons to mitigate the amount of time and frustration it may take to change two batteries. This system is an extremely easytouse system for both professionals and patients.
Carolyn: With rechargeable consumer electronics being the norm today, why hasn’t our industry already moved to rechargeable solutions?
Sara: Rechargeability has had a lukewarm reception in the past due to systems that were launched and unsuccessful, or simply didn’t provide a full day of use. The ZPower Rechargeable System changes all that. It uses silverzinc battery technology and provides a truly viable rechargeable system. Patients will get a full day of use between charges, and they will no longer have to remove battery tabs or open battery doors at night. Our chemistry has a higher energy than other chemistries, yet will produce the same results as zincair for electroacoustic output and provide a full day of use on one charge. Our system will also allow the use of a zincair battery in case a patient forgets to charge the system. These are just a few of the many benefits to this system. Simply, the timing is right. The product is right.
Carolyn: What are the other benefits?
Sara: There are numerous advantages to this system and we