James Whittaker, Managing Director, Triton Hearing
As one of our most important senses, the ability to hear is fundamental for us to communicate or connect to the world. However, with aging and chronic exposure to loud noises, today, a growing number of individuals experience hearing loss. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world’s population – nearly 430 million people have a disabling hearing loss, and this number is expected to increase to over 700 million by 2050.
Despite such concerning statistics and repercussions of untreated hearing loss, little progress has been made in tackling the public health problem. Still, many barriers exist in accessing hearing care, including lack of access to affordable technology, limited availability of clinic-based care, associated stigma, and a lack of public and political awareness. To fill this gap in the existing hearing care approach, Triton Hearing, a leading hearing care service and solution provider in New Zealand came into the forefront. Triton Hearing has been a trusted name in hearing healthcare for more than 20 years and is home to many of the Audiology Industry’s most respected Audiologists, Audiometrists, and Client Service Representatives. Since its inception, Triton Hearing has helped thousands of New Zealanders discover the amazing benefits of the latest hearing technology.
Triton Hearing’s commendable journey to the prominence
The pioneering company began its journey over 20 years ago as a private practice in the North Island of New Zealand. In 2009, the business was acquired by Sonova, the world’s largest hearing healthcare company operating in over 100 countries with over 10,000 employees globally. In 2015, it launched a growth strategy with the vision of becoming the hearing care provider of choice in New Zealand. Within five years of commencing the growth strategy, Triton Hearing has doubled its footprint and revenue and quadrupled its brand awareness in New Zealand. Having innovation in its DNA, Triton Hearing strives to provide its existing and prospective clients with excellent service and product innovations.
In 2017, Triton Hearing became the world’s first company to offer a full-service commercial TeleAudiology practice that revolutionised the cost and ease of access to audiologists by connecting Triton TeleAudiology specialists with clients using advanced communications technology. “With Triton Hearing TeleAudiology, the challenge of distance was eliminated. Communication technology enables remote consultations and the delivery of audiological services even if the client and audiologist are hundreds of kilometers apart,” explains James Whittaker, the Managing Director of Triton Hearing.
In 2019, Triton took this innovation on the road with a Mobile TeleAudiology Clinic, a state-of-the-art technology, housed in a classic 1949 Bedford bus to truly take Better Hearing to the people of New Zealand and change lives. The same year, Triton became the first and only provider in New Zealand to offer hearing aids on subscription with ‘Pay As You Hear’ for only $1 a day! And that’s not all; In March 2021, it also opened Triton World of Hearing, the only hearing store that offers same-day service, including innovations such as 3D ear scanning that allows the company to have earmolds made the same-day. This store was the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Other features of the concept store include an Experience Room that allows partners and friends the opportunity to understand the level of hearing loss their loved one has and the sounds that they are missing out on.
Making hearing care more accessible and convenient
Triton always keeps its clients’ preferences and comfort at the forefront. It believes that clients should be able to choose the way they receive their hearing health care – whether in a clinic or from the comfort of home or work. “If you can choose to purchase your groceries online and have it delivered or to go into the store – then shouldn’t access to hearing health care services be the same? Through our new interactive smartphone app, clients can use their smartphone to act as a gateway to allow the Virtual Care audiologist to remotely adjust their hearing aids in real-time and have a video call with clients,” asserts Lesleigh Smith, the Virtual Care Manager at Triton Hearing.
After a telephone conversation with a hearing expert to confirm the order, the hearing aids are delivered directly to the client’s home, free of charge. Once received and fitted, the hearing care professionals at Triton Hearing perform a virtual, hearing aid fitting, with in-clinic follow-up appointments to ensure the device is correctly adjusted.
Lesleigh also explains, “The beauty of Virtual Care is choice. Clients can choose their own individual pathway between in-clinic and virtual appointments whenever is more convenient, or more appropriate for them at different times in their lives throughout their Better Hearing journey”
Supporting clients through challenging times
Besides its innovative hearing solutions and services, the continued success of Triton Hearing also comes from its unwavering commitment to help and support its clients. Triton was one of the only hearing healthcare providers to be able to continue to practice over level 4 lockdown due to COVID restrictions in New Zealand. “We continued to be able to provide high-quality hearing health care to our clients in a new way when they could not come into the clinic itself – with over 700 virtual client appointments in just one month. We have had great feedback from clients about the convenience of Virtual Care,” affirms Lesleigh.
Now that clinics are open again, people, who are living in remote locations or are unable to physically access clinics, or those who don’t have enough time to visit the clinics can now choose Virtual Care. These clients are very grateful to have another avenue to access services they may otherwise not have been able to.
Family or caregivers of clients who are unable to attend in-clinic appointments due to health or mobility reasons, are also enjoying the benefits of Virtual Care. For these clients they rely on their loved ones and caregivers to act as the conduit to be able to use their smartphones and technology to assist in the “appointment”. They feel empowered to be actively supporting their loved one in the comfort of the client’s home.
Improving people’s lives through innovation
Triton Hearing actively contacts its clients throughout their hearing aid lifecycle to check on them and make sure they understand that they have Lifetime Free Care and support when they purchase hearing aids from Triton. “We take that responsibility of Lifetime Care seriously, that means that if someone purchases hearing aids from Triton Hearing they get unlimited appointments going forward if they need another hearing test or adjustment to make sure that they are getting the very best performance from their devices,” says James.
Triton Hearing’s purpose for the Virtual Care endeavor is to empower its customers and enhance their well-being while putting control of hearing health into their hands – whoever they are, wherever they are. To achieve this, the company is unleashing the potential of advanced technology to be able to deliver innovative and inspirational new products and services that can remove the barriers standing between its customers and a better hearing experience and help them stay connected with the people and life they love.“At Triton Hearing, Innovation is in our DNA and we will always be looking for new ways to help make our clients’ lives better through the connection that better hearing can bring and we’ll continue to do this in a truly client-centric way,” concludes James.