Benjamin Schadow Owner of Hörstil in Erfurt, Germany, has been announced as the 2018 European Audiologist of the Year (AOTY), just weeks after scooping the German Audiologist of the Year title.
The judges were particularly impressed by his innovative use of the latest technologies, including 3D printing, to find bespoke solutions to the hearing difficulties of his patients.
In a moving nomination, patient Karla Rudloff, 62, explained how she had developed hearing loss on both sides as a child as a result of chronic otitis media and found that standard devices were aggravating her condition.
As a result, she was struggling to hear what was being said during phone calls, work meetings and social conversations.
But thanks to customised ear pieces produced with the help of a 3D printer and fitting a number of auxiliary devices in her workplace, she is now confidently able to actively participate in wide range of activities.
She said: “Never before had I met an audiologist who listened so intently, engaged so professionally with my problems and inspired such confidence. With the technical equipment, Mr. Shadow’s is the latest and is state of the art, which I have never seen before, the hearing devices were perfectly adapted.
“Benjamin was able to give me wonderful assistance and worked out a solution for me that completely met my needs. As well as customised hearing aids, he provided me with several pieces of peripheral test equipment, even installing these at my place of work. As a result, making phone calls is easier and I can hear much better in conference settings.
“The auxiliary devices also make it easier to participate in activities in my private life, for example watching TV, listening to music, taking part in conversations at social gatherings, and communication in general.
“I am very glad to have found such a terrific hearing care professional.”
The competition is organised by Rayovac, a world-leading hearing aid battery manufacturer* and division of Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., in partnership with Audio Infos, a leading international hearing publication for the audiology industry, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH).
Now in its eleventh year, the competition honours Europe’s top hearing professionals, as voted for by their hard of hearing and deaf patients, who have received excellent levels of support, service and care from their audiologist.
Celebrating a decade of industry excellence, a panel of independent hearing care professionals & specialists came together over the summer to read through the hundreds of nominations from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
Each nominee was scored on the dedication, commitment, knowledge and levels of care demonstrated in their patient’s entry.
A winner was selected from each of the participating countries in September before the overall winner was announced in October during Rayovac’s annual Evening of Excellence, held during the EUHA congress in Germany.
Collecting his award, Benjamin Schadow said: “I’m honoured to have won the European Audiologist of the Year Award and am proud to accept it on behalf of my whole team at Hörstil GmbH & Co. KG.
“These awards are extra special as they are nominated by patients and I’m delighted to hear that they feel that the way we listen to their needs and continuously strive to innovate is making a difference to their lives.”
Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac, said: “The Audiologist of the Year competition is one of the highlights of the Rayovac calendar and it’s great to be able to give these outstanding professionals something back for their commitment and dedication to patients.
Each year we are taken aback by the number of heart-warming hearing stories we receive from people across Europe.
“Audiologists such as Benjamin and all of our country finalists are leading the way in raising the benchmark of care in the hearing industry across Europe. We wholeheartedly congratulate Benjamin and all of the country winners and our thanks go to all of the patients who took time to nominate their hearing professional.”
Competition Judge Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General for EHIMA, said: “We are proud to be part of a competition that brings so many professionals from the industry together to recognise their life-changing accomplishments.
“It was hard to pick a winner from so many moving nominations, but the judges all agreed that Benjamin is a deserving recipient off this award, demonstrating a level of care that goes well beyond the consulting room.
“We were also impressed with his insightful use of latest technology to provide innovative solutions to his patients’ hearing challenges.”
Other country winners who were in the running for the European title were:
Bridgitte Harley, UK.
Julien Benoist, France.
Wilgis Schoffelmeijer, Netherlands.
Myriam González Maycas, Spain.
*based on internal company estimates of worldwide market share.