Soundbites PBC is a small, independent, research-driven women-owned public benefit corporation. We’re a medical school spinout on a mission to keep hearing by solving the problem of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). SNHL is inner ear hearing loss, a disability that affects the quality of life and livelihood of 1.2 billion people globally. Our goal is to measurably reduce the worldwide social and economic burdens of hearing loss and its consequences.
we are on a mission to improve global hearing health
We think differently about the hearing loss problem. We’re in the wellness business. We build on three decades of basic and translational auditory neuroscience research at the University of Michigan Medical School, led by our late chief scientist Dr. Josef M. (Joe) Miller. Our team brought his ACEMg innovation out of the research lab and made it available to everyone under the Soundbites brand in 2019.
Hearing loss is an immense, rapidly escalating global problem. World noise is a big contributor. Half a billion people, almost 7% of the global population, had disabling hearing loss in 2015.
The World Health Organization estimates nearly a billion people will have disabling hearing loss by 2050, which means if things continue without interventions like Soundbites, slightly more than 10% of the projected world population of 9.7 billion will be functionally deaf about 30 years from now.
“Hearing loss is now the fourth leading cause of years lived with disability, ahead of headline-grabbing conditions like diabetes and dementia. While 80% of the burden of disabling hearing loss is in low-income and middle-income countries, these problems cannot be ignored by high-income countries, where those experiencing hearing loss are twice as likely to be unemployed and earn half the median income.”
— Blake S. Wilson, The Lancet, December 2018