The acquisition of Profonia allows us to open up to a new therapeutic area: that of hearing. It also enables us to provide a complete solution for hearing aid practitioners and seniors suffering from presbycusis. As the population ages, this health problem requires a new therapeutic approach. As a matter of fact, between the ears is a brain that we must stimulate as much as the hearing to contribute positively to the hearing impaired’s quality of life.
Olivier Fronty, CEO of Humans Matter
The support of Humans Matter opens up a whole new world of opportunities for our solutions. By joining a solid company with expertise in cognitive development, we will multiply our potential to have a strong and lasting impact on hearing health through the detection, support and training of hearing impaired people. The integration to Humans Matter also opens up prospects for deployments in other pathologies, in other care processes, in France and internationally.
Christophe Lataste, CEO of Profonia
Hearing aids enable people to hear sounds better, but it is the brain that decodes them. The role of hearing aids is to amplify the sound by frequency zones in order to hear better. However, in order to understand better, it is also necessary to stimulate the brain. According to a study by the Drees (French Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics), 50% of hearing impaired people with a hearing aid still complain of severe hearing problems. But while the ears capture the sound, it is the brain that interprets it.
The brain needs to be stimulated, both to accompany the use of a hearing aid, but also to limit degeneration problems due to the lack of information captured by the brain. If not properly managed, it will be more difficult to follow and participate in conversations (especially those in noisy areas); the brain will have to work harder to compensate, leaving less mental capacity available for efforts such as memorizing. Poor hearing can directly impact the social life of people with this disability, to the point of isolation, and induce a downward spiral with a brain that is less and less stimulated. Auditory and cognitive training thus plays a crucial role.
Happyneuron, a specialist in speech therapy, is delighted that Profonia, a partner of hearing aid acousticians, has joined Humans Matter. We have all we need to address the therapeutic area of hearing – from children to the elderly, from cochlear implants to hearing aids, from peripheral to central deafness. Humans Matter intends to promote interdisciplinarity, which is particularly encouraged by ENT specialists for the hearing well-being of patients via the use of digital therapies.
Didier Ghenassia, Managing Director of Happyneuron
On average, people suffering from hearing loss wait between 7 and 10 years before getting treatment. Without early diagnosis, this excessive delay makes it more difficult to provide the necessary hearing aids, as the brain has already started to compensate for the hearing loss. Thanks to a simple and accessible solution, Profonia makes it possible for patients to take control of their health by offering them the right tools to fight against this degeneration.
The MyProfonia application allows:
- An early hearing screening that allows to detect the beginning of hearing loss. With the MyProfonia application, it is possible to perform a hearing test in a few minutes. The results of this test are reliable and allow the patient to be directed to the right professional and to the right treatment, depending on the degree of hearing loss. To support this, hearing test kiosks are being deployed to direct people with hearing loss to healthcare professionals.
- Profonia also offers training exercises that improve comprehension in conversations and delay brain degeneration linked to hearing loss. In fact, hearing aids are not an end in themselves; training is also necessary to improve comprehension. That is what these exercises are all about, relying on brain plasticity to recreate neuronal connections in order to improve sound processing during conversations, especially in noisy areas.
Profonia Pro is also a tool specialized for hearing-care professionals. With the intuitive web application, hearing care professionals benefit from a permanent monitoring tool thanks to the contact form, the activity calendar, and alerts that can be consulted at any time. Hearing-care professionals also have access to their patients’ results in order to personalize rehabilitation exercises and ensure the smooth running of the device between appointments.
By collecting increasingly detailed and relevant information, healthcare professionals take on a more global mission, focused on the patient’s general well-being. By involving hearing care professionals and hearing impaired people, Humans Matter, with this new acquisition, develops the patient’s agency within the healthcare ecosystem, by promoting a multidisciplinary approach with digital therapies.
The acquisition of Profonia allows us to adopt an approach that is patient-centered and makes the patient the actor of their health through various training and rehabilitation in close collaboration with the hearing-care network that surrounds them. We are thus investigating a new therapeutic area in which cognitive design can express itself to reinforce brain plasticity.
Alexandre Beaussier, Partner in charge of innovation at Humans Matter