Who We Are
Summus Hearing is committed to making an effective and trusted Guidance Process widely available for understanding and managing one’s hearing health. As a Canadian software and data science company that also serves the U.S. and international markets, it takes advantage of and further commercializes the technologies, knowhow, and relationships accumulated over years of experience.
Our vision is to continue accelerating our progress as a signficiant player in hearing health services by transforming the quality of consumer access to relevant information, screening, and treatment through user-friendly technology solutions. We do this by enabling channel partners to offer a compelling position to their patients and customers.
Seven common problems that Summus Hearing is confronting
Many hearing tests have limited outcomes
Testing is often oversimplified and skewed toward promoting hearing aids. We need better standards and reporting.
Access is a significant problem
Only 2% are tested, an alarming statistic. We need testing added to the annual physical exam.
Those with known hearing problems wait too long
Individuals typically wait up to ten years before acting. We need more effective prompting to urge more immediate treatment.
Other conditions need consideration
Hearing loss is correlated to other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, & cognitive decline. These must be considered important signals for testing.
Hearing issues affect childhood development
Unidentified hearing issues can lead to learning & behavioural problems in children. Early testing in schools needs to be mandated.
The hearing health system is inefficient
The current system leaves out key healthcare providers like family physicians and pharmacists. They must be engaged with their patients/customers.
The costs of ignoring identification & treatment are high
Untreated hearing loss costs Canada and the U.S. billions of dollars each year through productivity losses & additional social costs. Hearing Health must become higher on the public health agenda.
The Summus Story
Summus Hearing’s proprietary software testing, classification, coaching and streaming technologies have been steadily developed, demonstrated, and proven for users in the lab, clinic, and field. They originated with a desire to automate tens of thousands of audiograms (individual hearing profiles) – a repetitive process of reading and interpreting requiring a skilled examiner much like evaluating EKG’s. That goal was accomplished by applying advanced pattern recognition, engineering and computer competences and resulted in the introduction of the first fully automated audiometric system. It not only conduced and reported the results of a valid pure tone test but also classified the results obtained – i.e. identified the probable site of lesion and possible cause of any hearing loss. Learn more by clicking here.
This is where some of the ‘secret sauce” still resides – providing Hearing Triage, capturing, and applying unique audiological expertise in software and support to benefit many thousands of people.
These innovations were submitted to the FDA and, upon review, were the first of their kind to be granted 510K clearance for sale in the United States. Distribution of the Summus Hearing Kiosk software followed as a B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) model, primarily to several hundred doctors and hearing health professionals in Canada and the U.S.
This early experience led to the development of the Hearing Health Awareness Program, a critical asset for supporting these customers and educating their patients and clients. It also resulted in the accumulation of over 100,000 structured tests across a wide age spectrum, a unique data set for use in understanding consumer response as well as product and program development.
Summus has always aimed to influence and facilitate the relationship individuals have to their hearing function. Hearing, while a critical sense for everyone, represents one of the largest untreated chronic health problems in North America and many other societies. Almost everyone has a hearing story and to protect their wellbeing should understand their hearing profile as thoroughly as their weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Many tens of millions are included in this untreated cohort, most who have never been tested and typically delay treatment too long or, even worse, ignore their condition altogether.
Initiating a person’s discovery process and moving him or her along from awareness towards a solution is where Summus excels.
Summus Hearing is well positioned to prosper in the hearing health marketplace, particularly as the disruption now underway takes further hold. Its Summus Kiosk Solution (formerly The Ultimate Kiosk) is being extended for use in several healthcare channels including traditional industry participants as well as major retailers and online providers seeking to take advantage of the FDA’s new, less regulated OTC (Over the Counter) ruling for hearing instruments.
Knowhow and additional technologies are being added to reinforce its capabilities as a trusted Hearing Health Guidance Process – unique, and quite different from typical testing procedures aimed at selling a hearing aid. These capabilities are also being taken to the Internet to connect and interact with individuals directly. Testing and creation of a web-based hearing health ecosystem coupled with promotion of smartphone apps is a critical step towards increasing the company’s bandwidth via its channel partners to millions of people wherever they are located.
Plans include offering new products through its kiosk networks and via the web, developing and monetizing a hearing health community platform and launching direct-to-consumer initiatives. The Windows app has long provided the standard for testing and classification; Android and iOS equivalents have been successfully prototyped and are now commercially available. With in-store presence and web enabling, effective testing and triage can be undertaken anywhere by anyone using a computer, tablet or smartphone and simple headphones.
Summus is dedicated to “Moving the Meter” – increasing the percentage of the population in targeted age groups who understand the importance of hearing, where they personally stand and what they should be doing about preserving or rehabilitating it. This is all about influencing behavior, a challenging and continuous process.
MBA Stanford, BA University of Toronto
Seasoned tech venture executive, extensive governance, C Level general management and finance experience.
MSc Warsaw University of Technology
Comprehensive hearing instrument background, international product development.
Director, Innovation Readiness
MEd Brock University, Information Technology Niagara College
Broad digital technologies experience in education & emerging corporations. Founder of Spark Niagara / Ryerson Innovation Hub
Customer & Administrative Coordinator
BA York University, BEd University of Toronto
Management of accounting, office, and CRM systems; customer service experience.
Digital Marketing Coordinator
BA Brock University, OCGC Fanshawe College
Communications and graphic design background, social media and marketing experience.