Telehealth

Applied offers remote hearing care and remote hearing aid programming for our patients

Helpful information about

Telehealth in Audiology

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed how many healthcare providers operate and hearing healthcare is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic is a true black swan event. The prevalence of foreign travel and the virus's ease of transmission has spread at an unprecedented rate. The Our need for physical distancing has prompted widespread acceptance of telehealth solutions, and hearing healthcare is no exception.  in hearing aid settings, allowing for added convenience for our patients.

Instead of coming into a hearing practice office for your appointment, virtual hearing healthcare allows you to receive face-to-face care some follow-up services through your phone or tablet. This means you can speak with a hearing specialist get your hearing aids adjusted while still staying safely at home.

Who could benefit from virtual hearing care?

You'll benefit most from virtual hearing care if:

  • You have limited mobility. We recognize that any health service that comes to you is welcome when you are homebound or in an assisted living facility.
  • You live in a rural area. Many rural areas of the US are underserved when it comes to hearing practices. Virtual hearing care allows us to extend our reach beyond the confines of our hearing practice.
  • You are in an at-risk group. Safety should be prioritized above all, and if you feel you can't risk receiving in-person hearing healthcare at the moment, then virtual hearing care is for you.


What virtual care can't replace

As we continue to make our way through this pandemic, there's no doubt that hearing aid reprogramming and virtual care are a godsend for the many who are currently practicing social distancing and avoiding in-person appointments. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of in-person hearing healthcare that it can't replace.

Comprehensive hearing examinations

Despite advancements in online hearing screening, it is still impossible to obtain a thorough hearing test online due to equipment limitations. We wouldn't know whether you had a sensorineural hearing loss, a mixed hearing loss, or a conductive hearing loss without an in-person bone conduction examination.Likewise, a visual otoscopy is also essential. This involves looking into your ears to ensure that no earwax or physical obstruction blocks your ear canal.

Real Ear Measurement

Due to the high cost of the equipment and the technical skills needed to use it correctly, Real Ear Measurement can currently only be done inside a hearing aid clinic. We consider this an essential procedure that checks that your hearing aids have been appropriately programmed to your hearing loss prescription. We do this by inserting a probe microphone tube into your ear canals to determine the amount of amplification provided by your hearing aids at each frequency of your hearing loss. 

Troubleshooting hearing aid problems quickly and effectively.

When a patient has a hearing aid issue, it's challenging to know the possible cause without making the patient come into our clinic for a diagnostic test on their hearing aids. Some hearing aid manufacturers allow remote diagnostic tests to be performed on their hearing aids. However, in our experience, they aren't always accurate.

An in-person hearing aid fitting 

If you had a successful hearing aid fitting and your hearing care provider followed best practices, your hearing aids would be appropriately configured for you from the start, removing the need to go back in and make multiple changes within your hearing aid programming. Your hearing care provider must follow best practices when checking your hearing, installing your hearing aids, and programming your hearing aids to do these things correctly, which can only be achieved in a hearing clinic.

Another thing to remember about virtual care is that not all hearing aids work with these services. A pair of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids are required, and you need to have an up-to-date smartphone too. 

Phonak eSolutions

At Applied Hearing Solutions, we use a variety of proprietary virtual remote programming platforms. While Phonak eSolutions is our preferred platform, we can remotely program hearing aids several major brands including Signia, Oticon, Resound, and Starkey. 

Virtual remote platforms allow us to program your hearing aids in real-time, or gives us the option to send you programming packages that you can upload when it is convenient for you. This allows us to offer custom programming even if you don't live in Arizona  are currently traveling out of state. This assures that you always have access to professional support even if you can’t make it into the clinic.

These remote platforms also has a feature called Datalogging making it possible to download user hearing aid data. This allows us to analyze:

  • Total hours of hearing aid usage
  • The percentage of time in different acoustic environments
  • The percentage of Automatic vs. Manual program usage
  • Volume preferences in different acoustic environments

We usually give patients screenshots of this data to see precisely what their hearing aids are doing.  The goal is to ensure that you have continued success with your hearing aids and have convenient access to care no matter where you are.

Hopefully, we've given you a comprehensive guide to how we do virtual care here at Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, AZ. If you still think you would benefit from our remote services, contact us today!

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