Hearing aid products are supplied in development countries by different aid programs. But what is cost of the individual hearing aid device? Nowadays hearing aid products are manufactured as cheap bulk products in China and elsewhere in low prices for large factory orders. Using large factory order of cheap electronic hearing aids (made in China or other cheap place) for many years use and storage, will bring down costs of electronic hearing aid in different aid programs in development countries. Also “Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid / System” (BAHA or BAHS) is very expensive, one device costs 3000 euros or 4000 dollars. However the technology inside it (microprocessor) is in fact “primitive” type that modern few dollar manycore microcintroller or FPGA or mobile processor can handle, like Kalray manycore processor or Achronix Speedster FPGA or AppleA9 2 billion transistor ARM processor. Apple A9 has manufacturing price of some 25 dollars so making cheap BAHA device that cost only few dozen dollars, not thousands, is possible to do. Altough surgery etc. brings costs making cheap BAHA devices for development countries would open possibilities for people in the development countries to use that sophisticated hearing aid at low price and it would bring back hearing to those who have lost it. Cost of electronics is very low these days, why not use this low cost for something like cheap BAHA devices for those who have hearing or seeing disability etc. Neuromorphic computing is coming to consumer devices and in reasonably cheap prices already. And using BAHA type visual aid that brings eyesight back to the blind are already in the development stage.
Googling “circuits simple hearing aid” brings many results. Some of those have very few of very cheap components like transistors etc., and they are also very easy to do (soldered). So in that place where hearing aid is needed, someone can manufacture that hearing aid with only little soldering skill and using few cheap components only. Also mass production of those very simple devices (some need only about 10 or less transistors, resistors etc.) would bring very cheap hearing aids to third world market.
There are netpages selling aids for disabled, like MaxiAids com, isightcornwall org uk, etc. Because all cheap things are nowdays made in China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong etc. also hearing aids / visual aids for disabled / partially disabled people can be made in those countries too, lowering price of those “gadgets & devices for visually impaired” and hearing aids. So third world countries population can have very cheap gadgets and devices for visually impaired, or those who need hearing aids. Mass production of cheap bulk products is in full swing in China etc. Also visual / hearing aids could benefit from those cheap manufacturing methods. Mass production of those gadgets for impaired in China, India etc. would lower their prices very low, and people of third world who have no much money to spend could buy them cheaply.
Another kind of aid: Millions of smartphones are discarded each year. Even without SIM card they can be useful, because they can store audio, video, still pictures and text, and they can be used to play computer programs and games. Phone without SIM card is cheap media player. If all those discarded smartphones would be shipped to third world countries and given there to poorest people, they would have no cost media player. Phone needs electricity, but primitive but still working solar cell or Peltier element (heat) phone charger can be mass manufactured very cheaply, using roll printed electronics etc. Almost no cost charger plus used smartphone for free that is otherwise thrown to electronic waste bin. There is donate your phone - organisations but they work inside some country almost always and not internationally, and do not ship their phones to third world countries. Costly net connection is not needed. If in some time cost free internet comes reality, only SIM card must be added and then they have (old) own cell phone.
Also cost of telephone SoC is so low, many years ago quad core ARM SoC cost 4 dollar and quad core Intel Atom processor 5 dollar (that can play x86 computer programs), now they are probably cheaper. So new cheap smartphones that are sold in India at 10 dollar price can third world people buy and use with memory card as media player without SIM card. But cheap smartphones are not marketed as media players, without net connection, although such devices should have big market in third world.
Pine64, 15 dollar computer is one example of cheap “PC”.
Also cheap DVD-player (“Discman” style) can be added on other side of device, another side has touchscreen and device uses cheap phone SoC without net connection, now cheap media player can play DVD films and audio CDs, and can use memory cards also. If that device uses cheap DVD-ROM player that cheap computers / laptops have, also DVD-ROM discs can be used, and regular DVD and CDs.
Cost free internet can be made already today, in third world 220 billion dollars are used in marketing each year, only 10% of that money is in internet marketing, 90% is used in newspaper and poster marketing (adverts). If everybody in third world would have cheap / free phone and so net connection (with SIM card) that usage of money can be turned over and 200 billion dollar can go internet advertising. So free net connection there can pay itself using only advertising money, if such subscription line / data plan would be offered by teleoperators in third world. Data rates would be smaller than with paid internet, and data compression must be used to maximize small amount of monthly data allowed, but it would be cost free internet. No fancy graphics is needed in netpages etc. and only low quality video / audio perhaps available, but at least access to internet would be free. No telephone voice line or SMS messages are needed, only limited internet access.
“Want to reach the world s poorest? Design for dumb phones” 2018, “Stay connected without a connection” CNET com 2014, “How to make the internet free in developing countries” Techcrunch 2015, “Samsung s smartphone that can t connect to the internet is actually a great idea” 2018, “Zero - rating: kick - starting internet ecosystem in developing countries” 2015.
Not only cost free internet, cost free phone line paying scheme is needed teleoperator to offer, so that user who has no money to pay in third world can have some limited net connection in phone that is paid by advertisements, sponsors etc. No voice line, SMS messages etc. are needed in that mobile phone line, only some limited net connection.
“How much does mobile data cost around the world?” 2019, “Affordable internet access: the cost challenge” 2018, “Africa has the most expensive internet in the world” 2018, “Which country offers the cheapest mobile data?”, “Innovative food price collection in developing countries” 2017, “GSMA finds that consumers in developing countries are hard hit by high spectrum prices” 2018, “Expensive broadband pricing millions out of accessing the internet” 2019, “Why are 4 billion people without internet?” 2016, “The next big phone could bring a billion people online” 2019, “The mobile phone revolution and digital inequality”.
It does not matter if cost free connection is broadband or narrowband or whatever, data compression can be used and even small amount of free data / monthly will do, if net connection is cost free to end user in third world.
Wifi phones are made in China and in other places. Wifi phone, if it is cheap, is suitable for third world cost free / cheap internet.
If cost free net connection is not possible now, at least cheap / used smartphones can be shipped to third world and sold / given free with very cheap solar cell / Peltier element charger. Those phones would be very cheap media players even without net connection / SIM card. They are useful cheap machines for text-, still pictures-, video-, audio store, and using computer programs and games.
Phone does not need SIM card / net connection in third world if user does not want to pay subscription fee to teleoperator, cheapest smartphones are very useful media players and “personal computers” there even without internet / voice line.