Hearing Loss – hearing aid tech an upgrade Solutions
Dealing with hearing loss is never easy, but add in a pandemic where face masks eliminated the ability to read lips and decode facial expressions, and social distancing made hearing others more difficult, and the world becomes a lonely, quiet place. Enter Achin Bhowmik. Starkey’s chief technology officer […]
Dealing with hearing loss is never easy, but add in a pandemic where face masks eliminated the ability to read lips and decode facial expressions, and social distancing made hearing others more difficult, and the world becomes a lonely, quiet place.
Enter Achin Bhowmik.
Starkey’s chief technology officer and executive vice president of engineering spearheaded a team to create new technologies and transform hearing aids into multifunctional health and communication devices. Working with Starkey’s existing products, Bhowmik and his team worked to enable features to allow hearing-impaired patients to better understand conversations with superior sound quality. Bhowmik also led a team charged with expanding technology in remote programming, giving hearing professionals the ability to conduct virtual appointments with patients, and in some cases, make adjustments to certain hearing aids remotely without patients ever leaving their homes.
Bhowmik’s technology has given people with hearing loss hope and connection in a time when it’s needed the most.
Why do you do what you do? I am extremely excited about my work, as I have the privilege of leading a talented global team of researchers and engineers to develop advanced products and technologies that help people hear better and live better. There is no greater satisfaction than to see the smiles (and even tears of joy) when we enable hearing impaired patients to hear and understand their loved ones and the world around them!
What has been your biggest professional accomplishment? I am most proud of our successful development and launch of the Livio AI products, transforming traditional single-purpose hearing aids into multifunctional health and communication devices with integrated sensors and artificial intelligence technologies. These devices not only help people hear better, but also help monitor physical and cognitive health, automatically detect and alert falls, help as a personal virtual assistant, and even translate languages!
Looking back at the challenges of the past year, what was a bright spot? In the challenging times during the global pandemic, the Livio AI devices enabled hearing impaired patients to understand conversations with superior sound quality and AI-based Edge Mode for masks and allowed hearing care professionals to remotely adjust the devices via virtual telehealth technology. We moved quickly to develop and introduce advanced technologies that helped people connect with their loved ones, and I am very proud of that.
What was the biggest challenge or low point of the past year? The biggest challenge, though I wouldn’t call it a low point, was to corral a large global team of researchers and scientists to move with a rapid pace of product and technology development amidst the unprecedented global pandemic that forced many of our team members to work remotely.
What was a key takeaway from the past year that will guide your perspective and/or actions going forward? What stood out for me through the challenging past year were the resilience, passion and ingenuity of our global team in relentlessly moving forward with a can-do approach. Our customers and the patients they serve needed our technologies and services during these challenging times more than ever before, and our teams delivered!
Chief technology officer, Starkey
Family: Wife, Shida Tan; son, Rohan (The Harker High School); daughter, Ava (The Harker Middle School)
Board memberships and volunteer activities: Adjunct professor, Stanford University School of Medicine; Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; board of trustees, National Captioning Institute; board of advisers, University of California Berkeley Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership; industry advisory board, University of Minnesota Biomedical Engineering