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Hearing Aid Product Narrative - strategic approach to increasing access

In celebration of World Hearing Day on March 3rd, AT2030 and ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, launched the publication: “Hearing Aid Product Narrative: A Market Landscape and Strategic Approach to Increasing Access to Hearing Aids and Related Services in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.”

The document is the second in a series of in-depth analyses that identify key barriers and promising market interventions across the value-chain, stretching from research and development to production and procurement, all the way through to supporting service delivery at the user and healthcare worker levels.

Barriers to hearing aids in LMICs countries

The World Health Organization estimates that 72 million people worldwide need hearing aids, but only 10% that need at least one have them, with coverage less than 3% in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Low access to hearing aids and low interest from global suppliers in low- and middle-income country markets is perpetuated by key barriers, including limited investment by governments; high cost of product and services to the end-users; lack of quality standards; and a service delivery model that requires high levels of resources in terms of personnel and infrastructure. Innovations in service delivery, diagnostic devices, and hearing aids themselves may provide opportunities to address these barriers.

Recommendations to develop the market for hearing aids

Five strategic objectives are proposed to help develop the market for hearing aids in lower- and middle-income countries:

· Strengthen global policy guidance around service delivery standards, product selection and product quality;

· Support governments in lower- and middle-income countries to strengthen hearing aid provision including demand generation and investment in service delivery capacity, government purchasing and procurement support;

· Engage the private sector to expand delivery of affordable, quality hearing aids and related services;

· Work with suppliers to enter markets in lower- and middle-income countries with affordable, quality hearing aids;

· Spur innovation to support simplified provision models and introduction of optimal products.

The Hearing Aid Product Narrative was developed by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) under the AT2030 programme in support of the ATscale Strategy. The AT2030 programme is funded by UK aid from the UK government and led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub.

Where is the report available?

The report is available on both the AT2030 website and the ATscale website. Additional accessible and translated versions of the document will be available soon.

How does this report relate to AT2030 and ATscale?

This report will be foundational in informing ATscale’s activities and investments in line with Objective II of ATscale’s Strategy Overview to identify and invest in interventions required to shape markets and overcome supply and demand-side barriers for priority AT.

It is also a key element of the AT2030 methodology helping to identify opportunities for AT2030 and others to test innovative models of what works to improve access to AT with the potential to reach scale, through innovative products, new service delivery models and local capacity. We look forward to engaging with partners interested in aligning their activities with the proposed strategic approach to enable the sector to collaboratively unlock potential to reach those most in need.


Ongoing feedback and comments on this document and consultation on the narratives in development for other priority product areas are welcomed. To provide your feedback on this document and/or to indicate interest in participating in consultations with CHAI by filling out this form.