Wednesday, May 07, 2008

[itsdifferent] Solar Powered Hearing Aid

finally I found something to cheer

With growing population of Elderly people around the world, a common need of hearing aid is increasing.

Howard Weinstein has successfully developed a solar powered hearing aid, Yes you heard that right, it does not needs any battery.

This Canadian business man's mission in Africa was to set up a company that would provide affordable hearing aids to partially deaf Africans.

Like all developing country, medical is not cheap in Africa, and hearing aid was an ailment only rich people can afford.

As per World Health Organization (WHO) there are roughly 250 million hearing-impaired people around the globe, out of that two thirds of them living in developing nations, however only 10 million instruments are made. Battery of the aid is the problem of the cost, it is estimated that 1$ cost of battery will last for just one week, certainly in India , China, Africa and Latin America 1$ can give you food for a day.

Weinstein did a great research and talked to many people, some financiers, tech geeks and industry exec.

He came up with "a cheap hearing aid powered by rechargeable solar batteries", keeping size, weight and all features just same, only change was in price.
It now cost less than $100, almost 20% of the price of the cheapest model avilable today. and not to mention that these rechargable battery last 2-3 years. Instrument comes with a  pocket-size recharger that can either plug into a wall outlet or use its own built-in solar panel.

Weinstein is getting funding from the Ashoka Foundation and the Oregon-based Lemelson Foundation.

Wish him all the Best.

Tech News

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