HEALTH

Panasonic Group launches hearing aid line featuring wireless connectivity, longer battery life

BY Michael Johnsen

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Panasonic Healthcare Group on Tuesday announced the introduction of the R1-W digital hearing instrument, a line of hearing products that appeals to a broader user base of people with mild to severe hearing loss.

One of the features includes a battery that can last up to 300 hours with an easy-care battery tool that helps protect battery drainage while the unit is in a hearing aid dehumidifier. And an accessory available with the R1-W line of hearing aids called the Hearing Hub allows users to wirelessly connect the hearing instrument to Bluetooth-compatible mobile phones. The Hearing Hub also enables a voice memo recording option with Bluetooth Interface and microphone input that patients can use to record reminders, such as doctor’s appointments.

Other R1-W Series accessories include an audio transmitter, which plugs directly into a television’s audio-output port to transmit sound wirelessly into the R1-W Series through the Hearing Hub.

"As a new player in the U.S. hearing market, and with our brand strength, we are finding that professionals are embracing our vision to deliver meaningful solutions to a broad segment of people who want to hear better," stated Delain Wright, director of sales, Panasonic Healthcare Group. "The R1-W series will propel us into the next phase of Panasonic’s plan for the hearing care business and allow us to better promote our products and Panasonic brand, which have been well received by people seeking hearing help."

 


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U.S. News & World Report ranks top five easiest diet plans

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The U.S. News & World Report on Wednesday named the top five "easiest" diets New Year’s resolutionists should follow — Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean Diet, Slim Fast and Volumetrics — out of a total field of 25 diet plans.

Best Diets 2012 featured six other rankings: Best diets overall, best commercial diet plans, best weight-loss diets, best diets for healthy eating, best diabetes diets and best heart-healthy diets. All six rankings were first published in 2011, when U.S. News evaluated a total of 20 diets. The five new diets added for 2012 were the Abs diet, Biggest Loser diet, Dukan diet, Flat Belly diet and Macrobiotic diet.

Big winners across the rankings included:

  • DASH Diet, which ranked No. 1 in best diets overall, best diets for healthy eating and best diabetes diets (tie);

  • Weight Watchers, which ranked No. 1 in best weight-loss diets, best commercial diet plans and easiest diets to follow;

  • Biggest Loser Diet: ranked No. 1 in best diabetes diets (tie); and

  • Ornish Diet: ranked No. 1 in best heart-healthy diets.

"The Best Diets rankings are designed to guide each dieter to the diet or diets best suited to his or her goal, whether that’s weight loss, management of diabetes, healthy eating or something else," stated U.S. News‘ Lindsay Lyon, who directed the project.

To create the rankings, U.S. News profiled each diet using information culled from scientific journals, government reports and other resources. A volunteer panel of 22 nationally recognized experts in diet and nutrition review each diet profile, conduct independent fact-finding, and rated the diets on seven criteria, such as their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss. U.S. News converted panelists’ ratings to scores and constructed the rankings. For the "easiest diets to follow" list, panelists assessed likely taste appeal, ease of initial adjustment, ability to keep dieters from feeling hungry and special eating restrictions.


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Pediatric cough-cold line sweetens OTC

BY Michael Johnsen

Zarbee’s has been expanding its pediatric cough-cold line featuring buckwheat honey with the launch of Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink, an over-the-counter nighttime cough remedy proven safe and effective for children 2 years of age and older.


“In this product we’ve taken the dark honeys, but we’ve put it in a granulated form so that it can be mixed in hot water,” noted Zak Zarbock, the pediatrician who created the product. In the first two months on shelf, Zarbee’s Nighttime moved more than 180,000 units across one national pharmacy retailer.


And while the product is a dietary supplement, and advertised as such, that doesn’t mean it can’t run head-to-head against other products on the cough-cold shelf. A Penn State survey published in 2007 in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that the parents of a group of children taking buckwheat honey to reduce cough reported significant difference in symptom relief versus the parents of a group of children taking a honey-flavored dextromethorphan product.


In addition to buckwheat honey, Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink contains vitamin C, zinc and elderberry, as well as a small amount of melatonin.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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