Find Hearing Support Remotely With Teleaudiology
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of telemedicine dramatically increased with virtual healthcare interactions to top 1 billion by year’s end.¹ And according to CivicScience data, the number of U.S. adults who reported intent to use telemedicine rose from 10% to 30% between February and March 2020.
How has the adoption of telemedicine helped to support people with hearing loss? Michael Blackburn, Au.D., Phonak Sr. eSolutions Manager, shares his insights on teleaudiology and how hearing care providers are able to offer hearing support remotely.
What is teleaudiology?
Teleaudiology, or eAudiology, is the practice of providing hearing care remotely using digital pathways, such as apps, video conferences and phone calls.
“Teleaudiology allows your hearing care provider to offer you personalized care in the comfort of your own home,” says Dr. Blackburn. “When utilizing video conferencing, such as during a Phonak Remote Support Session, found on the myPhonak app, you will connect with your provider and have a live conversation over video.”
Teleaudiology allows your hearing care provider to offer you personalized care in the comfort of your own home. When utilizing video conferencing, such as during a Phonak Remote Support Session, found on the myPhonak app, you will connect with your provider and have a live conversation over video.Michael Blackburn, Au.D., Phonak Sr. eSolutions Manager
Dr. Blackburn said the experience remains personal as you can see your hearing care provider’s face, and the provider is able to make real-time adjustments to your hearing aids. It also has the benefit of the provider being in the situation.
“Have you ever had difficulty describing an unusual sound or situation you encounter with your hearing aids? A Phonak Remote Support session allows you to bring your provider with you (virtually) and make live adjustments,” he added.
How can eAudiology support different patient hearing journeys?
According to Dr. Blackburn, eAudiology can be a benefit beyond those people who are practicing social distancing. “Patients who are unable to travel due to mobility issues or transportation concerns can benefit from eSolutions via Phonak Remote Support,” he said. “Also, it saves patients time out of their day if they have to travel far to visit their hearing care provider’s practice or if their day is too busy.”
Dr. Blackburn shares that if patients feel less comfortable with technology, there might be a friend or loved one who may be able to support them. “Phonak Remote Support, available with most Phonak Marvel™ hearing aids, is compatible with both Android™ and iOS® devices,” he added. “If someone is able to download the app, they can help facilitate a Phonak Remote Support connection.”
Can teleaudiology be used for remote fittings?
Are you not sure if your hearing has changed? Maybe you don’t want to go through a full hearing test unless you’re sure it is absolutely necessary. AudiogramDirect is available during Phonak Remote Support appointments.
Dr. Cliff Olson discusses the use of in-situ audiometry through Phonak Marvel hearing aids using the AudiogramDirect feature remotely to allow your hearing care provider to give you an online hearing test through your hearing aids using your phone. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions by clicking on the three small dots.
“AudiogramDirect allows your hearing care provider to remotely screen your hearing for any changes from the baseline they already have established on you,” Dr. Blackburn said. “If the changes are minor, your provider may be able to adjust the hearing aids completely remotely. If there is a concern for a more significant change in hearing, you will know that their recommendation for a full hearing test is warranted and worth your time to get back on the path of better hearing.”
While eAudiology like Phonak Remote Support is an added benefit, it doesn’t replace in-practice visits. Partner with your hearing care provider to determine the plan for your hearing journey to best suit your needs.
1. “US Virtual Care Visits To Soar to More Than 1 Billion,” Forrester.com