Three tips for successful remote hearing care

Remote hearing care is here to stay, with or without a pandemic. Get tips on how to expand your hearing care beyond the walls of your clinic – in a way that satisfies you and your clients.

While the hearing aid itself plays a key role in your clients' satisfaction with their hearing in real life, it's only part of the solution. Fitting software and hearing aid apps also are important when it comes to meeting the hearing aid user's challenges. Especially remote care.

This was the topic of the October 7th Hearing Review article "Expanding Your Hearing Care Beyond the Walls of Your Clinic," by Laura Winther Balling et al. It makes the case for three important aspects of successful remote hearing care.

Tip 1: Ensure your remote solution enables expert audiology at a distance

The WIDEX REMOTE CARE™ solution, for example, enables you to remotely program all wireless Widex hearing aids. It does so via the Remote Link end-user app, which is integrated with COMPASS™ GPS fitting software. This gives you full access to all the functions you'd normally use during a fitting. The client simply wears the Remote Link device during the remote session.
This full functionality includes two important fitting components:

  • The Sensogram, which can be used to estimate hearing thresholds remotely, and
  • The Service Tracker, which evaluates receiver and microphone functions and internal noise in the hearing aid, allowing you to verify that the hearing aid works as it should

In a May 2020 survey of Widex hearing aid users, 58% said they were likely to access healthcare services remotely. 

Tip 2: Empower your clients with apps

Smartphone apps are another key component of successful hearing care outside the clinic. By enabling your clients to take control of their hearing aid settings in everyday life, apps empower hearing aid users - and help make for satisfied customers. 

In the Widex portfolio, the ToneLink™ app works with all Widex hearing aids. It enables remote control of basic hearing aid functions through brief, very high-frequency tones. 

The advanced WIDEX MOMENT™ app offers a wide range of tools for personalisation of sound - from basic adjustments, such as left/right volume, to features that use artificial intelligence (AI). It is available for Bluetooth hearing aids in the WIDEX MOMENT™ product line.

SoundSense Learn uses AI to empower users

A unique feature of Widex hearing solutions is SoundSense Learn. Found in the WIDEX EVOKE™ and WIDEX MOMENT™ apps, SoundSense Learn uses AI to help the user adjust the sound in a simple but powerful way.

Through a series of A-B comparisons of sound settings (see Figure 1), the user indicates their degree of preference. Then, the AI algorithms use this input in real time to predict settings that will optimise the user's satisfaction in the specific listening situation.

The resulting settings may be saved as a personal program for later use. 

Figure 1: Screenshot of SoundSense Learn A-B comparison in the WIDEX MOMENT™ app.

Double-blind comparisons have shown that SoundSense Learn helps users improve sound quality and listening comfort. Additionally, in a survey of users, 72% responded that they were able to improve a listening situation with SoundSense Learn, and 80% would recommend the feature to others.

Figure 2: Interestingly, SoundSense Learn programs categorised as "Home" and "Outside" increased and "Restaurant" and "Inside public" programs decreased in March 2020 - coinciding with Covid-19 lockdown measures in much of the world. See the Hearing Review article for more details. 

Tip 3: Make sure you get client insights you can use

And finally, the adjustments made by the user need to be visible and useful to you so you can continue to meet your high standards for hearing care. That's the purpose of the Real-Life Insights provided by COMPASS™ GPS fitting software. 

You can see the settings and use of personal programs your client has created - enabling you to get closer to the real-life situations your client experiences. You can then use this knowledge for fine-tuning and to strengthen your dialogue with the client.

Real-Life Insights, like all other features in COMPASS™ GPS, are available both remotely and in the clinic.

The most natural, personalised sound experience

Widex delivers a complete hearing solution that empowers users in real life and keeps hearing care professionals informed. This is all done with the aim of delivering the most natural and personalised sound experience, even when a face-to-face clinic appointment is not possible.

Read the entire Hearing Review article here.

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