Acrylic Design Associates helps hearing aid makers turn up the volume at retail

In case you missed it, big changes are underway for the hearing aid market.  As a result, hearing aid manufacturers and retailers are turning to Acrylic Design Associates for help in addressing new challenges and opportunities.

What’s changing?  In late 2021, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) introduced guidelines (based on 2017 legislation) that allow a new category of hearing aids to be sold over the counter (OTC) without need for a visit to a doctor or audiologist.  Once fully enacted, the change is expected to broaden hearing aid access through large U.S. retail networks to millions of Americans with hearing loss while dramatically reducing cost.

About 37.5 million American adults suffer some level of hearing loss, but only 16% have ever used a hearing aid, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.  Prescription hearing aids can cost $4,000 -$5,000, but allowing OTC purchases is expected to dramatically reduce the price.

Hearing aid display

  

Needed: OTC Custom Hearing Aid Displays

Up to now, hearing aid displays typically consisted of relatively simple fixtures located in audiologist offices.   But as hearing aid manufacturers get ready for the new rules, they are realizing that retail channel-focused displays pose new challenges and opportunities. Manufacturers need a way to efficiently introduce products and explain their features while also being able to catch shoppers’ eyes.  That’s where Acrylic Design comes in.

“Acrylic Design has nearly 50 years of experience in creating hearing aid and medical device displays as well as manufacturing custom retail displays and retail environments” said Acrylic Design Associates CEO Bill McNeely, Jr.  “That made us a natural fit for helping medical-based manufacturers and retailers navigate within the new rules by creating head-turning displays that best demonstrate their products.”

As a full-service firm, Acrylic Design Associates provides end-to-end support for the entire process:

  • Designing and engineering custom displays that include interactive product demos and all relevant information.  Because of the variety of hearing aid types and fit, displays require a high level of customization and accuracy.
  • Rapidly developing prototypes to confirm the most efficient specifications possible.
  • Custom manufacturing displays that often include human-like ears, using state-of-the-art machining and printing technologies.
  • Providing turnkey support for large-scale display assembly, kitting, warehousing and distribution – ensuring that projects are delivered where and when they need to be.

Due to the need to rapidly introduce hearing aids at OTC retail locations, Acrylic Design is scaling up to match demand.  In 2022, for example, the company is working with six different manufacturers and is quickly deploying 27,000+ displays at more than 9,000 Walgreens and Best Buy stores across the United States.  And that’s just for starters.

 

Hearing aid display

One more benefit:  Acrylic Design is offering its customers the opportunity to choose its Recrylic™ line of certified recycled acrylic in place of non-recycled acrylic.  As the first line of 100% recycled acrylic to be widely available in North America and the first to be GRS and RCC certified, Recrylic helps retail display users to reduce CO2emissions and landfill use.  Used acrylic displays can also be recycled as Recrylic, providing a sustainable, closed-loop lifecycle.

“Solving client problems around topics like quality, scalability and sustainability is core to what Acrylic Design does best,” said McNeely.  “It’s nice to be able to bring those together in a solution like this that will help so many people improve their hearing at an affordable cost.”

To learn more about hearing aid displays, Recrylic or other Acrylic Design solutions, please complete the brief form below.