Patrick Freuler, founder and chief executive of the hearing aid company Audicus, went into business after being confronted with prices and inefficiencies that seemed out of step with today’s technology-driven, consumer-oriented world…Audicus, based in Chelsea, is part of a wave of companies capitalizing on the shift toward what Freuler calls DIY diagnostics. Anyone with a mobile phone can track their blood-glucose levels, take a vision exam or even attempt to self-diagnose a skin condition. Why not take a hearing test?
Transforming lives, one ear at a time
Professor of Psychology at Emory University
I love spending time with my wife of 54 years, playing music with friends, urban hikes in Atlanta, and reading the New York Times. Without my hearing aids, I would have been forced to retire from teaching 15 years ago. I would not be able to play music with friends, attend concerts, or have conversations with my grandchildren. There’s a Harvard study that follows people their whole lives. It found that the most important predictor of longevity and health is human relationships.
Medical Social Worker, Future Bed and Breakfast Owner
I work in a hospital as a medical social worker. I live in California but am relocating when I retire to Ghana. I hope to build a bed and breakfast. 2 years ago, I could tell that I was having some hearing loss during staff meetings. I researched online and thought Audicus was the best value and equipment. Hearing aids have enhanced my life because I can hear what people are saying. It’s pretty amazing. Nobody even knows I wear them.
I’m a chemist who works in pharmaceuticals making vaccines for a rare illness. I do a lot of boating and saltwater fly fishing. We get a lot of striped bass and it’s excellent eating. Last week the neighbors invited us to dinner and the hearing aids picked up so much. I never really knew how much I missed. If sharing my story gives someone the idea to get hearing aids I’m all for it, cuz I know it’s definitely improved my life.
Audicus in the press
"Online hearing aid company makes a loud and clear disruption"
"This NYC Startup Makes Hearing Aids Accessible to Everyone"
Audicus is selling simple and affordable, German-manufactured hearing aids. It is one of the first startups that offers an Online Hearing Test that is accurate enough to program your hearing aids, which eliminates the need to seek a clinical audiogram. This direct-to-consumer startup radically reduces hearing aid costs and ensures that hearing aids are customized and tailored to the client’s requirements.
"An absurd system: Ottawa woman sounds off on $5K hearing aids"
The cost to manufacture a single hearing aid — not including fees for testing and programming and other services — is only $50 to $200, said Freuler.
“I think at some point, what will happen [is that] we will make the market bigger, because we will attract people who will not go to the audiologist because it is so expensive,” Freuler said.
"Groundbreaking Technology Tests Hearing From Home"
The Audicus web-based hearing test provides a national solution to this by providing free tests and education tools to the greater population, upending antiquated testing methods.