What is Remote Care or Teleaudiology?
What is Remote Care or Teleaudiology?
Remote care, ‘telehealth’ or ‘teleaudiology’ are all terms you may have heard, particularly in recent times. Signing up for a remote care appointment means you will be able to interact with your Audiologist or Audiometrist without attending a clinic visit.
Your appointment enables you to stay at home (or other environment such as your office) and the clinician to carry out the procedures via phone or video link up. So how does a virtual appointment work?
If you sign up for remote care or teleaudiology, what can you expect to happens during your appointments?
Remote care is not a new way of keeping contact for patients and healthcare clinicians.
For people who live in remote areas, or unable to attend appointments in a ‘bricks and mortar’ establishment, phone calls and video appointments have been possible for a number of years.
However, the current circumstances, along with the advent of smartphone apps and more sophisticated video conferencing tools (such as Zoom and Skype), has seen a large increase in teleaudiology appointments.
What can be carried out at a teleaudiology appointment? Some clinics (but not many at this stage) can carry out hearing tests remotely.
This technology will probably become more available as time goes on. Hearing aids can also be fitted remotely, but again, your clinician needs to have the appropriate equipment for this. However, after fitting care appointments are quite common and easily managed.
In a ‘virtual’ appointment your clinician will be able to carry out a number of processes including being able to make real-time adjustments of your hearing aid settings. After you are fitted with your hearing aids, you will need to follow-up with your clinician within a week or two to see how you are managing.
A remote care appointment is an excellent way to make contact with your Audiologist or Audiometrist, at a convenient time for both of you, as getting used to your new hearing aids can take a number of adjustments.
Your clinician can also use the time to go over cleaning and maintenance of your hearing aids, and battery changing.
They can also discuss hearing tactics with you. Sometimes there’s not enough time to go over everything at the fitting appointment, so the follow-up appointment is a good time to cover off anything that was not attended to at the fitting.
Setting up for teleaudiology
The well-known hearing aid companies all have smartphone apps that can be downloaded as part of their hearing aids’ technology and customer use. If you use a smartphone, this is a simple process.
Having the app gives your clinician permission to provide you with teleaudiology services.
You can get your Audiologist or Audiometrist to guide you in the set-up of your app during the hearing aid fitting appointment. The app will allow you to text your clinician, get real-time adjustments of your hearing aid and have virtual appointments.
If you don’t have a smartphone app, you can still request teleaudiology appointments. You will need an internet connection, smart device, (such as a phone, computer or tablet device) that has a camera and speakers, and a quiet room in your house to have the appointment.
There are a lot of benefits in connecting with your clinician via teleaudiology.
If you have mobility issues or live a long way from the Hearing Clinic, remote care is a very useful tool for you to investigate. Teleaudiology can give you advantages such as being able to keep in contact with your clinician and less stress in getting to appointments.
For those with the smartphone app there are many advantages. You’ll be able to access real-time hearing aid adjustments and programming.
Your clinician will be able to closely monitor your performance with your hearing aids and give timely advice on how to improve your hearing and communication in challenging situations.
You’ll also have access to more interaction with your clinician via text, online chat and video conferencing.
Technology and connectivity are providing more opportunities to remain connected not only with your loved ones, but with your hearing Healthcare Professional – see if you clinician offers a teleaudiology service.