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tt100 Awards Interview: The hearX Group

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Nic Klopper, CEO of The hearX Group.
Nic Klopper, CEO of The hearX Group.

Nic Klopper, who is the CEO of The hearX Group, explains that the group is an award-winning startup founded in 2015, with the mission of providing affordable access to healthcare using mHealth solutions that can be used by anyone, anywhere. The hearX Group has gone to market with the award-winning hearScreen as well as multiple others following its success, namely hearTest, hearDigits, hearKiosk, mHealth, hearScope, hearZA and hearScreen USA. HearX is a digital health company and an ISO 13485 certified supplier of medical devices.

Klopper continues by saying that in many African nations, the general awareness of hearing loss is low and the severe shortage of health personnel and prohibitively expensive equipment has caused a lack of screening programs, resulting in most people being unable to access hearing healthcare.

Our innovative solutions have been used to screen over 150 000 people in 25 countries across the world and are as accurate, but faster, cheaper and easier to use than traditional methods.

What is the core focus of your business?

We believe in impact-driven innovation at an individual, community and global level by creating sustainable, smart solutions for hearing health. Our point-of-care mHealth solutions, used in more than 25 countries, provide clinical tests, with integrated cloud-based data management, surveillance and referral systems that link patients to care. Our vision is healthy hearing for everyone, everywhere.

What have been the company’s biggest highlights for 2018?

Our highlights for this year so far include the roll-out of various large scale hearKiosk projects with various renowned pharmacy groups; the upcoming launch of our hearScreen USA project as well as crowdfunding campaign for our dbTrack product. We also competed as finalists in The Chivas Venture competition earlier this year.

A massive achievement for us included being granted our ISO 13485 certification that certifies the hearX Group as a supplier of medical devices.

Furthermore, earlier this year, our dbTrack product was awarded the ITU Telecom World SMME Award – presented by ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao.

One of our biggest highlights for 2017/18 so far was winning the tt100 Small Enterprise Winner of Department of Science & Technology Director General Award for Overall Excellence.

Could you tell us about your future plans and upcoming programs?

We’re thrilled to be launching hearScreen USA, the U.S. National Hearing Screening app, this October.  The app is available for free to everyone in America to conduct a hearing screening from. If a person fails the hearing screening, they are then connected to their nearest audiologist based on geolocation.

In terms of our upcoming three-year strategy, we plan on expanding our global reach by establishing joint ventures in the UK, USA, and our subsidiary in Singapore. We plan on expanding over the next three years into Australia, Kenya, Brazil, India, Malaysia and Indonesia whilst launching products namely hearOAE, hearSpeech, hearBR among other innovations, through ongoing investment into R&D.

Why are programs like the tt100 beneficial to enterprises?
The tt100 platform creates opportunity for enterprises to be recognized by a well-renowned awards programme for excellence in the core areas of development according to the TIPSTM framework: Management of Technology, Management of Innovation, Management of People and Management of Systems. All of these criteria being essential to the establishment of a successful enterprise. The tt100 Awards application process allows enterprises to thoroughly access their performance in these key areas which in turn allows an organization the opportunity to improve in the areas that require development.

How has winning the award impacted your business?

Winning the tt100 Awards gave us the opportunity to thoroughly examine our business according to the above core-competencies in line with the TIPS framework. It allowed us to identify where we have room for improvement and also the areas we excel in and need to continue to focus on. Furthermore, it has impacted our business’s brand awareness positively since we’ve received great recognition from winning a well-renowned award such as tt100.

What advice would you give to future leaders who are starting out within the same industry?

The time is now to focus on the mHealth space; there is an abundance of opportunity in the market. We are in a fortunate position to be in a country that needs innovation in order to solve problems unique to the developing world. This gives us as innovators the unique opportunity to solve challenges that other developed nations don’t have and position ourselves to be the frontrunners in the mHealth space.

Staff Writer

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