Mobile audiology and hearing testing clinics

Apparently there are HIS and/or audiologists who do house calls. Not due to Covid but rather that is their mode of operation.
I found out when I was speaking with a representative of a well known “on Line” vendor. They offer aids at a discount inc follow ups. Some of their professionals are office based and at least one is mobile. I was referred to her.

Am I correct in assuming that they cannot due a proper audiogram as they have no booth?

Does a lap top and a set of headphones suffice to get an accurate audiogram?

I would imagine no real ear either due to lack of equipment.

Issue is that my current audiologist, who has been like gold is about 2.5k more expensive for a set of IIC than is the mobile HIS. Both include all f/u. No unbundling option.

On the one hand it seems like my current audiologist although more pricey is worth it being who she is and providing real ear etc.

On the other hand I could show my audiogram to the mobile H.I.S. if she does not due any type of valid hearing test. This would save me $2500 but no real ear. She does deep impressions for IIC.

I know real ear is best practice but I’m sure many folks have not had real ear and do well with their aids. Of course if they had real ear they would even better acuity with their aids.

In short: Does it make more sense to stay with my audi who is state of the art and follow best practices
rather than pocket the difference?

Can I afford it, yes. just been given a choice and thinking about it.

FWIW: I am not one to think an audiologist is “better” than an HIS.

My company does house calls for patients who can’t leave home for various reasons. We do a hearing test using high frequency headphones which cover the ears more and block out a bit more sound, but you’re right, it’s not a perfect solution. Also as you said, we can’t do REM on these house calls so it’s not optimal. It’s a service we do for patients who have no ability to come to the clinic physically and this is their best shot at getting help. In your position, if you’re looking for the best hearing results, especially considering you already know what good fitting practices give you, I would continue with your current audiologist.

Actually if you use insert earphone for the test it can be very accurate except possibly in the low frequencies if the patient has normal lows. Yes, real ear can be done in the home with the correct system. MedRX has a laptop based real ear system that is very good. Frye and there are a couple of others also have portable systemsl. I personally think there is going to be a place for the in home service even more in the future. As people get older, more and more will have difficulty traveling and having someone come to them just makes sense. With all the Covid crap going on, it would probably be more difficult with the home calls but I definitely see a place for it in the future.
My first few years in the industry, back in the late '70s were primarily in the home. You certainly see a whole different side of the patient in their own home. I also know a number of professionals who work mainly in senior complexes and have a regular schedule going to them. One of the practices I visited when I was consulting just did an analysis of the patients and told me 61% had never been to their office. If you go the “in home” route, make sure they have spent the money to get the right equipment, especially the Real Ear. If they say real ear is not necessary, go elsewhere.

1 Like