PURPOSE : This article explores different meanings of innovation within the context of audiology and the Internet. Case studies are used to illustrate and elaborate on the new types of innovation and their levels of impact. METHOD : The article defines innovation, providing case studies illustrating a taxonomy of innovation types. RESULTS : Innovation ranges from minor changes in technology implemented on existing platforms to radical or disruptive changes that provide exceptional benefits and transform markets. Innovations within the context of audiology and the Internet can be found across that range. The case studies presented demonstrate that innovations in hearing care can span across a number of innovation types and levels of impact. Considering the global need for improved access and efficiency in hearing care, innovations that demonstrate a sustainable impact on a large scale, with the potential to rapidly upscale this impact, should be prioritized. CONCLUSIONS : It is unclear presently what types of innovations are likely to have the most profound impacts on audiology in the coming years. In the best case, they will lead to more efficient, effective, and widespread availability of hearing health on a global scale.
Portions of this article were presented at the 3rd International Internet & Audiology Meeting, Louisville, KY, July 2017.