Hearing Aid Help at Home: Remote Hearing Care and Teleaudiology

We have been working on putting together a sort of intro piece on the topic, with more brand-specific content on the way shortly. Any feedback on this piece much appreciated!

See also: Hearing Aid Remote Care - Brand Comparison - Google Sheets

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Thank you for the article. I wish Costco could get on board wih TeleAudiology program, I could use a couple minor adjustments. I have no hope for the future that they will.

The Hearing Departments in my Costco is closed as are many. One cannot get supplies except batteries, and cannot order accessories. @#$%&!!

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I have Phonak hearing aids. I have been able to find accessories on the internet. I use Hearing Tracker for the ear domes for example. I already have a lifetime supply of wax guards due to an over order several years ago.

Jeff

PS. I had a tele visit with my general practitioner last Friday. It went very well and saved a trip to the office.

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Mom was a newspaper editor. You asked for it.

" How to access remote care
Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds, and your audiologist will walk you through everything in their office "

  1. Shouldn’t say what another professional would do.
  2. My audiologist is closed.
  3. This Month, “in their office” IS worrisome. (Docs, staff, and very extended family is more people than I normally meet in months.)

“Smarter” clients may be able to set this up without sitting knee-to-knee. In myPhonak I need an account, which I can set-up without help (except the confirmation is in GERMAN?? I think my small-phone hid my country.) I log-in on myPhonak phone-app and it says “Invite missing”, as expected since that has to come from my AuD. (It looks like he would email me a code when he can work with me.)

If your audiologist is not offering remote care …, you’ll need to …drop your hearing aids off at the new provider

Why? I can think of reasons (to discover HA serial number) but they may vary between brands? (Perhaps one brand set up so within the “Invite” the fitter may read my HA and know what I have.)

Costco gives wax filters, domes and concha hooks for free. Better than paying the Internet prices. At least batteries can be bought in store, One gets 48 for just under $8.00 USD My Forte 8 (ReSound Linx 3D) with size 13 batteries go 15-16 days, so 48 is almost a years worth for me.

RIC with full bluetooth. I only stream calls and often use AirPods for calls. Music goes to AirPods that work with my open fit domes. Look at my audiogram. Only high end is boosted, low and mid range is fine. I wear them 14-16 hours each and every day.

Oops, sorry, I made a typo and missed the mistake, yes size 13 batteries. So sorry, I need to give up and sleep.

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I had my first telemedical appointment last week Personally, I don’t like the idea at all. However; under current circumstances they are a necessary weevil. On the other hand, my sister’s audiologist is 50 miles away. So the idea is very appealing for her.
I do think I should call about wax guards. Normally I would get them at no charge, but I wouldn’t object to paying; especially if it will help keep them afloat until this thing blows over. (I am sick of hearing the media referring to “the new normal”!)

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Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the drop off, it seems that most hearing aids currently need to be setup in office by connecting the aids to the computer (noah system) in order for the audiologist to register the hearing aids as ones belonging to one of their patients. There may be exceptions with certain brands, but that is my understanding of the general situation, and confirmed with Dr Cliff who is doing a bunch of remote work (due to necessity) as of late.

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Well, I just wanted to make it clear that they don’t need to try to figure this out while reading our article. 99.9% of people will have an audiologist or HIS walk them through downloading the app, pairing the aids to their phones via Bluetooth, etc, in the clinic. And yes, every audiologist who offers remote care will walk them through it.

This article is being written as a permanent piece for our archives, so some of it is for normal times, but we addressed the COVID situation in the article here:

If you’re wearing teleaudiology-capable hearing aids, and have a compatible Android or iOS device, you may already have access to remote care. Check in with your audiologist to see if they are currently providing remote care services. If so, your audiologist will let you know if there are any additional steps necessary to access remote care.

If your audiologist is not offering remote care services, you’ll need to find help elsewhere. Check our provider directory for local clinics offering remote care. Once you’ve found a clinic to take care of you, you’ll need to (unfortunately) drop your hearing aids off at the new provider to have them enroll you in the remote care platform that supports your brand of hearing aids. Check with the new provider to see if they are accepting curbside or drop-off servicing requests.

I agree with you that in-office walk-throughs aren’t going to be a thing right now… I might just add a note in parentheses to indicate as much …

OK, my edit:

In 2020, remote care is almost always provided through your hearing aids’ smartphone app. The first step is downloading the app that works with your hearing aids and granting your audiologist permission to provide you with remote assistance. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds, and your audiologist will walk you through everything in their office (keep reading for the social-distancing approach) before sending you on your way. And once the app is set up, you can use it to communicate with your provider, share information about your hearing aid usage, and receive real-time adjustments to your hearing aid settings.

" Accessing remote care during COVID-19" is the very next header, so hopefully the reader doesn’t get to lost :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

After consulting with a bunch of audiologists and some reps from the manufacturers, I’ve finally put this together. Please let me know if you see any possible corrections / additions:

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Oticon is behind the curve on this. My audiologist said the RemoteCare has been in beta in US for A YEAR!!!

All very nice, but what is the cost for the clinic’s to do this, or do they offer no charge if you brought your HAs and “service” from them.

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I’ve been to 2 different audiologists and both said they do not use tele-care as the patients can’t get it to work and then the tele appointment is of no use. Neither one had the system (software ?) for it. Not financially worth it for the audiologists. I’m disappointed as I’m an 1-2 hours from these Audis.

Did they mention any pricing?

The option to “Opt in” is already built into the software for audiology clinics, they just need the patients permission and check a tick box.
The patient just needs the app.

I don’t really know what the Audi’s problem was. One said they could not get system to work and the most recent Audi said it wasn’t worth the time as the patients didn’t understand how to use app or hook up w: Audi. I would think of is an app and very much like tele health just like we are doing right now during this Virus. I’ve done two tele health appt and it worked like click work. Very great.

Was it free, or did you have to pay extra for this service.

I did not pay extra. It was just my yearly appt and covered by Medicare and supplemental insurance. Medicare did come out w/ a notice that they will cover Telehealth appt I believe. Check it out on medicare.gov

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I was told that my vitals could not be checked with telehealth. Is this true?