Telehealth technology for hearing device adjustments is here

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Advanced Audiology Concepts The Hearing Center in Mentor is set to begin Phase 2 of its groundbreaking new telemedicine program.

By Patricia Nugent

Telemedicine—the field of delivering healthcare through teleconnection—is one of the most innovative directions in health care today.

At Advanced Audiology Concepts The Hearing Center in Mentor, Dr. Jane Kukula and Dr. Ashley Spisak are thrilled to be among the few audiologists in the country to offer a pilot program testing the telehealth capability to adjust someone’s hearing aids directly via the internet on their smart phone, so they don’t have to come into the office for visits.

“Although we are currently moving from Phase 1 of the project into Phase 2, we are still accepting patients who wish to participate in this ground-breaking trial program and be part of influencing the future,” says Dr. Ashley.

“The process is simple. People come in and are fitted with the new Phonak Audeo Direct aids with Bluetooth technology in the first phase, then in the second phase we will check up on them remotely.”

The doctors say their patients already participating in the program are rec-ognizing the many benefits of telehealth, whether for people who are travelling or seniors who have difficulty leaving their home, or caretakers of seniors who have to drive them to appointments.

“Wherever you are in the world, if you can get to a WiFi-enabled smartphone or computer, we can do a hearing aid diagnostic or programming adjustment,” says. Dr. Ashley. “This is the ultimate convenience.”

If all goes well with the pilot program, she projects that adding telehealth internet adjustment capabilities will probably come to the market later this year.

No matter what hearing aid is the best fit for each patient, the doctors are ded-icated to creating a path for patients to get them. Recently they’ve introduced a financial bundling plan that allows patients to opt for a lower upfront cost and pay for services as they go.

Advanced Audiology Concepts is located at 8897 Mentor Avenue in Mentor. Call the office to put your name on the list of this pilot program, or set up an audiogram to see how healthy your hearing is, 440-205-8848, or visit AAChear.orgfor more information.