Currently viewing Vol. 1 • Issue 4 • 2014

Unitron Celebrates 50 Years: Technology Changes but Relationships Remain a Constant in Company’s History

The Unitron Corporate and Canada team

The Unitron Corporate and Canada team

Unitron is proudly celebrating 50 years of building strong relationships with hearing healthcare professionals and delivering great products and services to support them with their patients.

The span of 50 years has brought many significant changes to the hearing healthcare marketplace. Significant technology advancements have enabled hearing instruments to become smaller and more powerful. Hearing healthcare providers are not only in traditional medical settings, but also in retail environments. And the competitive marketplace has witnessed a number of mergers and acquisitions amongst manufacturers. And through all these changes, the Unitron brand has endured and thrived, shaped by a belief that this business is built on the strength of personal relationships, and that its products are really opportunities to make life better for people with hearing loss.

Founded in 1964 in Newfoundland, Canada, by partners Fred Stork, Rolf Strothmann, and Rolf Dohmer, Unitron became the first Canadian manufacturer of hearing aid technology. It is now one of the fastest growing hearing instrument companies in the world, with global and Canadian headquarters located in Waterloo Region, Canada’s ‘Silicon Valley’. Today, Unitron delivers hearing instruments in 70 countries through 20 international offices and a network of distribution partners.

Unitron Pic 2

Unitron’s three founding partners (in front of their first business in St. John’s – the TV and radio sales and repair store). Left to right: Rolf Strothmann; Fred Stork, and Rolf Dohmer

A History of Innovating to Make Life Better

Since Unitron’s founding, its product development has focused on products and features that offer real benefits to the people who use them. In the 1960s through mid-1980s – the analog years – Unitron became a leader in power BTEs for people with severe to profound hearing losses. By the 1990s, programmable hearing aids and fitting software were changing the face of the industry: Unitron was there with user-friendly, intuitive fitting software advancements that made fittings more streamlined and helped improve first-fit acceptance. The digital revolution followed next and was an industry game changer. Unitron first introduced Unison, the product that made digital technology accessible to all, and today the Company continues to develop signature features to specifically address speech preservation and intelligibility, including the award-winning AntiShock™, SmartFocus™, and most recently SpeechZone™ 2.

Relationships Remain a Constant

While innovation has always been a vital part of Unitron’s product history, the company has also remained steadfast in its belief that relationships are the foundation of its business and its customers’ success. Explains Unitron President, Jan Metzdorff, “Since our earliest days, Unitron has understood that this business is personal. That was true 50 years ago and it holds today. The relationships we have established with hearing healthcare professionals, and how we support them in forming strong relationships with their patients has never been more important.”

Unitron President Jan Metzdorff holding Moxi Kiss RIC (left); Unitron founding partner Rolf Dohmer holding a 205A BTE from 1966 (right).

Another constant in the Unitron story is people. Continues Metzdorff, “Our local and global teams have always worked tirelessly to support our hearing health care professional customers, while moving us forward as a thriving global organization. Their skill, innovation and compassion, and the great connections they have forged with our customers, have proudly made us the Unitron we are today.”

 

Unitron will mark its 50th year with local events that celebrate the “favourite” sounds of the past 50 years.

About the author

Unitron Canada