Creating a digitalized, democratized hearing health experience

by Dr. Henrik Matthies

Digitalization has democratized many industries — from media to publishing, technology to software. At Mimi, we’re leveraging digital tech to disrupt hearing healthcare.

We are a startup that works at the intersection of biology, technology & consumer electronics. We spend a lot of our time navigating the challenges of creating innovative audio products that make sound more enjoyable.

We’re also a team of hearing scientists, designers and technologists working together to unlock the health promoting potential in audio and hearing products.

It’s a thrilling space to be. We’re not exactly an audio tech company. We’re not exactly a digital health company. We’re a new category made possible by the digital revolution — and the explosion in terms of mass market accessibility to sophisticated products, which it has brought.

We’re excited to play a leading role in extending the reach and possibilities associated with hearing solutions. Our passion for this approach is reflected in all our products and partnerships, be it our native apps, sound improved headphones, or inflight soundscapes.

Working in this emergent space, defining our own category, demands a commitment to creating intelligent, intuitive products, that push the envelope. And it means developing features that consistently work to make hearing better, and healthier in ways we previously could not have imagined.

Fixing it before it’s broken

A critical component of our mission is how our products contribute to hearing damage prevention. In a pre-digital era, traditional healthcare, including hearing related care, was mostly binary — you were either “well” or “sick”. These days we are able to think about health as more of a spectrum. It’s not simply about not being sick anymore. Or the absence of discernible hearing damage. The best possible hearing can now be a more desired and more accessible goal for most of us.

Aligned with this trend, as a culture, we’re becoming less reliant on treatment and more concerned about prevention. With hearing health technology such as we’re pioneering at Mimi, people can take this prevention approach to the area of hearing. Our tools give people more understanding of their hearing ability. And they offer people, often for the very first time, a clear insight into how to lower the threshold of actually taking the next step, without being solely dependent on medical professionals or audiologists or having to wait for a crisis or for serious damage to accumulate. This alone is revolutionary. It means a preventative focus and the early insights offered by smart technology can help more people have hearing healthcare happen already in their home, via the immediacy of their phone.

Motivational products that make prevention fun

All of our digital hearing technologies — from award-winning sound personalization technology to our medical product grade hearing test — Mimi aims to further motivate users towards healthy hearing and hearing damage prevention. In an easy and enjoyable way, the Mimi Hearing Test, with its automated notifications, sends listeners reminders to refresh their hearing test results when it’s time. The sound personalization technology we showcase in our Mimi Music app but also in a growing number of partner products such as beyerdynamic’s Aventho and Amiron allows user adapt their music based on their hearing profile, enabling them to examine the difference of perceived detail between Mimified where audio is tailored for ones unique hearing profile, and normal listening. This is helping people not only to better ‘understand’ and value their hearing, but to protect it and to change damaging listening patterns to healthier options.

The future sounds healthy

We created Mimi to make the best and healthiest possible sound available to anyone. We want to always provide maximum access to people. That’s why we are working so hard with our partners so that our apps are, and can continue to be, free of charge.

In this spirit, we are also working on the launch of our browser based Hearing Test, a unique version of our already 1.5 million times downloaded Mimi Apps, with a focus on how you hear in everyday situations. We’re proud of this because it means our Hearing Test will be available to even more people directly in their web browsers, for free.

Today, no less than when we started in 2014, we’re driven to design the ultimate personalized sound experience and deliver the most intelligent, intuitive hearing products possible. And we’ll continue improve them with innovative testing and features that consistently work to give you the best possible hearing experience and your sound healthier on as many devices as we can, as an intuitive hearing companion. That is the Mimi promise.

Andreas Berglind