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Hipro & Noah HA Fitting software/hardware - queries

Pete Ketchum pketchum at HIMSA.COM
Fri Nov 8 17:41:22 EST 1996

Sorry for the previous garbled posting.  Here's a more readable version:

I've read with great interest the postings about my company's product, 
NOAH.  Thanks to all parties for their comments.  I'd like to respond 
and throw in a few comments of my own.

>in our
>situation our Audiologists are handling up to 10 brands of hearing
>aids and trial fitting sessions involving 3 or 4 different brands
>modules generally result in a hung computer or the nasty little errors
>that some modules produce

The last two years has seen the initial release of NOAH and a whole 
bunch of NOAH-compatible software products.  As with most software 
products, some of these first releases had problems but have improved 
with age.  Users are a critical link in this cycle of improvement -- 
call your suppliers and tell them about problems; be as specific as 
possible (what is the exact error message? what seems to cause it to 
happen? when did it start occurring?); don't resign yourself to living 
with software problems, especially system crashes.

>there are bugs out there, which may cause the system to lock-up, but are
>the Noah software developer working on cleaning up these bugs?

Yes.  In addition to making changes and improvements to our own 
product, HIMSA will conduct conformance testing of the NOAH-
compatible products developed by our member companies.  This will 
begin by the end of this year.  The purpose of the testing will be to 
ensure that the product conforms to HIMSA's specification for NOAH-
compatibility.  It will, I believe, eliminate most problems in the 
interaction between all the various NOAH-compatible products.  We'll 
provide more information about this testing, once it begins, on our 
Web site and in our newsletter.

>manufacturer was promoting their new programmable aid to be used with a
>PC-driven real ear machine (not a stand alone PC).  I got "stiff-armed"
>when I asked about fitting and adjusting another line of programmables
>which we dispense.  I got pretty frustrated and said "forget it".

One of the fundamental ideas behind NOAH is that any NOAH-compatible 
product may interact with any other NOAH-compatible product.  If 
Company A's REM system will only interact with Company A's fitting 
system, then it is not NOAH-compatible and will not pass HIMSA's 
conformance test.

>it should be possible (assuming all the software exists) for you
>to switch between the Real Ear system and the Programming system.  In
>fact, the way you want to multitask these programs, even Windows 3.x
>will work.

NOAH goes well beyond the multi-tasking capabilities of Windows 3.x 
and 95.  NOAH provides a framework for fitting systems and REM 
systems to pass data back and forth, and for fitting systems to 
automatically initiate REM tasks.  I think this sort of sophisticated 
interaction between systems from different suppliers will pave the way 
to very efficient and effective fitting protocols.  HIMSA member 
companies are now starting to release software that takes advantage of 
these capabilities.  If this idea appeals to you, tell your suppliers 
and the releases will happen sooner.

>unless there are some improvements we will be going back to
>the bench top full of individual programming devices and our old

Just my opinion:  Computers can be very frustrating.  At HIMSA we use 
them to run our business too and they don't always cooperate.  However - 
bugs, crashes, and all -- we could never operate nearly as efficiently 
without them.  Some things we couldn't do at all without them.  Many 
NOAH users have told me the same about their own computer systems.

Peter Ketchum, President
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 148
St. Paul, MN  55108
1-800-435-9246, ext 101
pketchum at himsa.com

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