An image of a female hearing health care provider using video conferencing technology to provide hearing services to a patient who is getting care from her home

How SHOEBOX Products Can Support Tele-Audiology and Mobile Audiology Process

Hearing Services

There are many ways SHOEBOX can help people work and provide hearing screening and diagnostic testing outside the traditional clinic. Methods can range from patients having diagnostic hearing testing done in-person outside of the hearing clinic to an entire tele-audiology process in which the clinician is not physically with patients but instead remotely connected.

One of these clients is Yes Hearing, one of America’s leading concierge audiology services offering hearing tests, hearing aid fittings, adjustments, and ongoing care, all from the comfort of a patient’s home. The COVID-19 pandemic made it tougher to offer in-clinic hearing health services for patients who were not comfortable or able to leave their homes. The company recognized an unmet need to provide in-home hearing testing to those who are better served by home hearing care than the traditional in-clinic model.

When a patient required hearing testing, Yes Hearing sent a SHOEBOX unit to a provider, who would then bring the system to the patient’s residence. Our portable audiometer was the ideal fit because it produced accurate audiological assessments and is optimized for use outside of a sound booth; it was also simple to use and could be quickly disinfected. Patients were able to have their hearing accurately tested while adhering to local health guidelines.

“Implementing SHOEBOX has been seamless! The software is intuitive, and there is a great support team if we need it,” said Oliver Phillips, COO at Yes Hearing, in a case study we previously posted.

Mobile audiology, like Yes Hearing’s operations, can occur in a patient’s home, a long-term care facility, a daycare program, a community center, or any quiet and private location outside the traditional clinic setting.

We’ve also had clients such as Lifestyle Hearing conduct diagnostic hearing testing in the patient’s home, with the clinician not physically present. Instead, they use an online video link to interact with the patient, a true tele-audiology practice. A full tele-audiology workflow may not work for all clinicians or patients, but it can be an attractive solution for many.

Another option is to utilize the simplicity and convenience of SHOEBOX Online to remotely screen and triage patients into hearing loss categories. For some patients, it may be appropriate to use SHOEBOX Online as the first step in their remote hearing aid journey. Diagnostic products such as our ANSI-compliant audiometer can be used for a first fit and fine-tune the hearing aid settings using a complete and valid audiogram.

One of our larger clients recently employed the convenience and versatility of SHOEBOX Online to optimize and scale their referral generation process. TruHearing Inc. works with leading healthcare plans to help people purchase hearing aids and save money at the same time. The company recently began offering SHOEBOX Online to its thousands of clients. The aim was to have a relatively objective metric to help identify hearing loss in those who take the online screener. SHOEBOX Online was used to assist in this mission by providing prompt and informative hearing screening data that encouraged members to begin their journey towards better hearing healthcare.

“SHOEBOX has been a great fit for TruHearing and our partners; our healthcare plans are really excited to roll this out to their members. There are other online hearing screeners that are available, and we’ve looked at some of those in the past but have not really been happy with the accuracy, the sensitivity, and the specificity of those tests,” explained Rob Gibbs, Senior Vice President of Sales with TruHearing in a recent case study we conducted together.

Since adding SHOEBOX Online to its website, TruHearing has seen thousands of its members take the online hearing screener and begin booking appointments to address their hearing loss during the pandemic. You can learn more about TruHearing’s experience using SHOEBOX Online by watching our recent case study.

We also have had clients set up audiology outpost clinics. With this model, the technician is physically present and uses a SHOEBOX audiometer with a patient to conduct hearing testing. An audiologist can then connect virtually through a video feed to oversee and instruct the technician and provide evaluation impressions to the patient. This hybrid hearing screening technique is particularly effective at screening people in remote geographical regions or in cases when particular audiological services are required.

The current pandemic has caused many shifts in how hearing testing and screening are conducted, and in multiple cases, it expedited the move towards mobile and tele-audiology. Mobile audiological testing and the outpost model have opened the door to continued assessment throughout the pandemic. This transformation is especially true for residents of long-term care residences. Staff working in the facility can operate the audiometric equipment while an audiologist connects remotely. One of our clients is working with Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) on staff at long-term care homes who regularly work with geriatric patients for ongoing challenges such as swallowing issues and speech understanding and/or production, which are common after experiencing a stroke. Many states require that hearing screening be completed before an SLP provides therapy services. This requirement creates a unique opportunity for cooperation between audiologists and SLPs, with many elderly patients needing some form of amplification device before intervention can start.

SHOEBOX makes it easier to perform hearing testing and screening that can power a wide range of processes. These workflows can include fully remote screening, mobile diagnostic testing, and automated standard testing. The ability to disinfect quickly, coupled with our audiometers’ high level of portability, makes SHOEBOX the ideal audiological assessment tool to support tele-audiology and mobile hearing screening.

Learn more about how our suite of screening and hearing testing solutions can power your tele-audiology and mobile testing services by completing the form below for more information.

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