- AliHealth enters into first strategic partnership with hearing aid company
- Partnership will significantly improve hearing aid penetration in China
- Sivantos to introduce myVibe – a unique and easy-to-access solution for fitting Vibe hearing aids
Hangzhou, China, August 6, 2019 – Audiology technology leader Sivantos Group and Alibaba Group today announced a strategic partnership between Sivantos (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. and Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd. (AliHealth).
This marks the first time AliHealth has partnered with a company in the hearing aid industry. Sivantos and AliHealth will unveil an innovative service to help people benefit from hearing aids even faster.
“We’re happy to introduce myVibe, a new and convenient way for consumers to seamlessly fit their hearing aids on their own,” said Bernd Wagner, Sivantos Vice President of Next Generation Business Concepts. “We are proud to be the only ones providing such a remote fitting service in China.”
Sivantos began to offer Vibe hearing aids through Tmall, Alibaba’s online marketplace in June 2018. The easy-to-use online service is aimed at those with up to moderate hearing loss. Given the success of this program, Sivantos opened a Vibe-branded flagship store on Tmall in April this year.
The process couldn’t be easier. An online hearing test tells Sivantos which hearing aid is suitable and how it should be fitted. Through myVibe, each Vibe consumer receives a unique link that can be opened in any browser. After following a few steps, a sound will be emitted from the speakers. The Vibe hearing aid gets instantly fitted as it picks up the sound. As such, this allows for quick remote hearing aid fitting anytime, anywhere.
China’s enormous healthcare market continues to expand rapidly, driven by aging population, economic growth and expanding basic health insurance.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in China alone, the number of people with hearing loss has been steadily increasing from 74 million in 2008 to 96 million in 2018. Early diagnosis and patient-centered solutions are the key objectives to focus on. Together, AliHealth and Sivantos offer both and can significantly improve hearing aid penetration and provide online expert consultation by Sivantos specialists in fitting Vibe hearing aids– easier than ever.
Through digital platforms, the partners aim to increase awareness of the importance of early detection and treating of hearing loss while supporting China’s “Big Health” blueprint.
“China’s aging population and rise of consumer healthcare means that hearing loss issues can no longer be ignored. The traditional hearing aid industry must be aided by new technologies to bridge the gap between consumer needs and the hearing aids Sivantos can provide,” said Gary Wang, Executive Director of AliHealth and General Manager of Alibaba’s Healthcare Group. He believes that this partnership will help bring efficiencies to current business models and ultimately, greater value to all parties in public health and businesses.
“We see this cooperation as the opportunity to further improve upon our success in the hearing aid market in China and to help patients get even better support. With a new online-to-offline (O2O) approach, we will provide easier access and better service to our customers,” explained Wesley Ma, CEO of Sivantos China.
Sivantos has been the undisputed number one hearing aid manufacturer in China after more than 20 years in the country. Much of its success is due to its more than 1,200 shops where hearing care professionals fit patients with the most innovative Signia hearing aids. These highly sophisticated premium hearing aids, and the accompanying specialized fitting service, are only accessible in person in those centers. This makes Signia the solution for all those with severe or more complex hearing loss or those who demand the highest performance and cutting-edge features, such as automatic situation detection.
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Crystal Ball Ceremony to mark the beginning of the partnership (f.l.t.r.): Wesley Ma, CEO of Sivantos China, Gary Wang, Executive Director of AliHealth, Bernd Wagner, VP of Next Generation Business Concepts at Sivantos Group, Zhang Ze, Head of Tmall Medical Division.
About the Sivantos Group
The business operations of the former Siemens AG hearing aid division have been combined into the Sivantos Group since early 2015. Sivantos can look back on 140 years of German engineering and countless global innovations. Today Sivantos is one of the leading hearing aid manufacturers worldwide. With its around 6,000 employees, the group recorded revenues of 1100 million euros in the fiscal year 2017/2018 and an operating profit (Adj. EBITDA) of 262 million euros. Sivantos’ international sales organization supplies hearing care specialists and sales partners in more than 120 countries. Particularly high value is placed on product development. Sivantos aims to become the market leader in the coming years with its brands Signia, Siemens, Audio Service, Rexton, A&M, HearUSA and audibene. Since March 1, 2019 Sivantos Group merged with Lynge/Denmark-based Widex.
More information can be found at www.sivantos.com