Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name





Barbara Weinstein

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders | Health Information Technology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Speech Pathology and Audiology


Affordable, accessible, hearing, healthcare, intervention


Age-related hearing loss is a significant public health concern with serious and far-reaching consequences including: social isolation, depression, faster cognitive decline, and increased risk of falls. Hearing loss is a widespread condition, it is in fact a leading cause of disability among older people. Hearing aids, the primary intervention for adults with hearing loss, are costly and inaccessible to many patients who need them. Among other reasons, these factors have led to a low uptake rate among the adult population; only one in seven adults who could benefit from wearing hearing aids utilizes them. Given the status quo of high quality but expensive hearing healthcare intervention and meager hearing aid usage, the need for alternative and innovative models is paramount. The goal of this paper is to discuss the prevailing hearing healthcare model, consider top-down forces that are driving change in this space, explore the alternative models that are currently or soon to be available, predict future innovations based on the available literature, and examine the evolving role of the audiologist in this context.