- Healthcare giants offering first-ever online fitting service 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 Health Information Technology Limited (AliHealth) today announced a partnership that will offer China’s only remote hearing aid-fitting service. The collaboration is a first for AliHealth in the hearing aid industry. AliHealth is the Alibaba Group’s flagship healthcare and health services unit.
“We’re happy to also 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 the pharmacy channel on Alibaba’s Tmall online marketplace for brands in June 2018. Pharmaceutical e-commerce is one of AliHealth’s key focus areas. AliHealth operates Tmall Pharmacy, a category channel on Tmall, for different pharmacies and healthcare brands and had over 130 million annual active consumers a year as of March 31, 2019.
With hearing-aid sales brisk on Tmall Pharmacy, Sivantos opened a Vibe-branded flagship store on Tmall in April this year, deepening its ties with Alibaba. The new, easy-to-use online fitting service announced today is aimed at hearing-aid users with an up to moderate hearing loss.
The process couldn’t be easier. An online hearing test tells the customer which hearing aid is most-suited to the customer and how it should be fitted. Through myVibe, each Vibe consumer receives an individual link that can be opened in any browser. After following a few steps, a sound comes from the speakers. The Vibe hearing aid adjusts and becomes instantly fitted as it picks up the sound. This allows quick remote hearing aid fitting anytime, anywhere.
Hearing-aid use is on the rise in China. Overall, the country’s enormous healthcare market continues to expand rapidly, driven by an aging population, economic growth and expanding basic health insurance coverage.
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 – more easily than ever.
Through digital platforms, the partners aim to increase awareness of the importance of early detection and treatment of hearing loss while supporting the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China.
“China’s aging population and the 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, General Manager of AliHealth Pharmacy. He said this partnership will improve efficiencies in current business models, and ultimately, bring greater value to all parties in public health and businesses.
“We see this cooperation as an opportunity to further improve upon our success in the hearing aid market in China and to help patients receive even better support. With the new online-to-offline (O2O) approach, we will be able to 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 over 20 years in the country. Much of its success is attributed 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 services, are only accessible in-person in these centers. This makes Signia the solution for anyone with severe or more complex hearing loss or to 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, General Manager of AliHealth Pharmacy, 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, the Sivantos Group merged with Lynge/Denmark-based Widex.
More information can be found at www.sivantos.com
About Alibaba Health
Alibaba Health (00241.hk) is the flagship healthcare platform of Alibaba group’s “Double H” strategy (Health and Happiness). It focuses on 4 key businesses, including pharmaceutical e-commerce and new retail, consumer healthcare, internet healthcare and intelligent healthcare, backed by Alibaba group’s advantages in the areas of e-commerce, Internet finance, logistics, big data and cloud computing. Its mission is to make good health achievable at the fingertips. Its vision is to facilitate medicine through big data and use the internet to reshape the healthcare industry; and to provide fair, affordable and accessible medical and health care services to 1 billion people. For more information, please go to the website: https://www.alihealth.cn/