Random additional thoughts about the long-overdue loosening of cartel regs on hearing aids.
The regulations never made sense. Aside from building your own, there were many hearing assistance devices available openly without prescription or license. Bell offered amplified telephones since the 1920s. Zenith offered amplified TVs with special headphones in the ’50s.
The FDA was supposed to regulate drugs and devices that could be harmful. There’s no obvious technical or medical difference between an amplified telephone and a pocket-mounted or ear-mounted amplifier. Neither can do any damage; both are either helpful or neutral.
AFAIK, General Electric didn’t make hearing assistance devices in the early days. You’d think Edison, who was partly deaf, would have pursued this line of products.