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No More Suffering in Silence: Siemens New Hearing Instruments Tailored to Meet Hearing and Lifestyle Needs

From cutting-edge designs to nearly invisible models to Bluetooth connectivity, hearing instruments have gone cool

Piscataway, N.J., June 3, 2008 One in every ten Americans has hearing loss, and this number is expected to double as the baby boomers reach retirement age and beyond, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Only 22 percent of those with hearing loss currently wear hearing instruments, but now there are a range of solutions for people who may be hesitant to wear a hearing instrument because of the fear of being perceived differently or feeling old.

Understandably, hearing loss is difficult for individuals to accept, but hearing instruments in terms of their appearance and capabilities have made tremendous strides recently, said Dr. Thomas Powers, Vice President of Audiology at Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. Historically, hearing instrument manufacturers have taken a one-size-fits-all approach in terms of design, but the newest lines from Siemens meet the needs of the individual, running the gamut from fashion forward to nearly invisible.

Following is a summary of the newest hearing instruments from Siemens, all available beginning May 2008:

Vibe

Vibe, Siemens first fashion-forward hearing instrument, offers an expanding selection of interchangeable snap-on covers with colors like Cheeky, Dynamo and Fearless, and patterns like the checkered Fast, feminine Flirt, and leopard Wild. Wearers can choose up to five covers with their Vibe purchase and, just as fashion is continuously evolving, Siemens will be introducing new covers periodically to keep the look fresh.

Vibe is the first hearing instrument that fits securely into the crest of the ear, leaving the ear canal comfortably open. Since it does not rest behind the ear, accessories like eyeglasses, sunglasses and bicycle helmets can be worn without interfering with the hearing device.

Vibe is ideal for people of any age with mild hearing loss, having difficulty hearing sounds such as soft speech or the pitter-patter of a babys footsteps, who want to regain the ability to hear these sounds without having to wear a conventional hearing aid.

Pure

Designed for those who want to be discreet about their hearing loss, Pure instruments are nearly invisible when worn and are appropriate for individuals with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Pure, which is available in two performance levels and two form factors, or configurations - RIC (Receiver-in-Canal) and CIC (Completely-in-Canal) automatically synchronizes, analyzes, and adjusts volume and sound processing parameters so the wearer does not have to manually adjust the device in various listening environments.

Pure gives wearers the ability to localize the source of sound from all directions, enabling them to hear more naturally. It simulates the acoustical functions of the outer ear and assists wearers in distinguishing sounds in front of them from those behind them, while the ear-to-ear wireless technology also creates a unified system by wirelessly synchronizing both instruments.

Pure is rechargeable*, and only five hours of charging is necessary to power the instrument all day. However, Pure can also operate with standard zinc air batteries.

Pure is also available with Tek', an optional wireless enhancement that enables wearers to stay connected to Bluetooth enabled wireless technology and other devices through their hearing instruments.

Explorer'

Approximately three in 1,000 children under age 18 experience hearing loss, each with their own specific needs and preferences. As a result, Siemens Explorer' was designed specifically for infants, toddlers and teens.

For the younger set, Explorer is equipped with a host of safety features, expert tested for the crib, school, and playground. The device repels dirt and grease, prevents cracks and scratches, and is resistant to breakage. Explorer also features a baby-proof battery door lock and a pediatric earhook that was designed specifically for babies and younger children.

Older kids can add the Tek' wireless enhancement option, which allows them to stream audio from cell phones, MP3 players, TVs and other audio sources directly to their hearing instruments, in stereo sound.

Explorer is available in 16 fun colors so kids will want to wear their hearing instruments. Additionally, a sticker book is available that allows kids to personalize their Explorers to look like a superhero, an animal or a flower.

Tek'

For the roughly six million Americans who wear hearing instruments, using personal electronic devices can pose a challenge, often requiring removal or adjustment of the instruments to accommodate the other devices. To help hearing aid wearers incorporate personal technologies more easily into their lives, Siemens has introduced Tek', a wireless enhancement that enables wearers to stay connected to their mobile technologies through their hearing instrument.

Through its wireless remote control, Tek' Connect, wearers of select Siemens hearing instruments can control wireless communications between their hearing instruments and their cell phones, PDAs, MP3s, audio systems, televisions and even personal computers.

Tek Connect allows wearers to make and take calls directly from a Bluetooth wireless technology enabled mobile or cordless phone. By transmitting the signal wirelessly to both devices, Tek Connect tells the wearer when a call is coming in, even when in a different program mode, enabling the wearers hearing instruments to become a virtual hands-free headset.

Wearers will also experience the benefits of Tek while watching TV or DVDs. Tek Connect wirelessly transmits audio signals simultaneously to both hearing instruments in true stereo fashion. And, with the Bluetooth wireless technology protocol developed by Siemens, wearers are able to enjoy viewing their favorite programs without the typical signal delay and echo experienced with other Bluetooth wireless technology.

*Only available in RIC configuration.

About Siemens Healthcare

Siemens Healthcare is one of the worlds largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Healthcare is the first fully integrated diagnostics company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy, and healthcare information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services. Siemens Healthcare delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. The company employs more than 48,000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. In the fiscal year 2007 (Sept. 30), Siemens Healthcare reported sales of '9.85 billion, orders of '10.27 billion, and group profit of '1.32 billion.

Further information can be found by visiting www.usa.siemens.com/hearing.

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