As social distancing and self-quarantines have become the norm in the face of COVID-19, individuals with hearing loss may find it difficult to get the help they need. Responding to this reality, Signia announced the introduction of Remote Care, a new program “enabling hearing care professionals (HCPs) to prescribe, fit, and fine-tune hearing aids remotely.”
HCP and Patient Satisfaction
Remote Care from Signia meets “an immediate need among HCPs for a complete and comprehensive way to help their patients remotely.” Early adopters, like Stella Fulman, AuD, co-owner of Audiology Island clinic in Staten Island, NY, have experienced great success with the solution.
“I am extremely happy with Remote Care from Signia,” said Fulman. “It gives me the agility and flexibility to deliver the care my patients expect in a manner that is safe for everyone involved. I am also confident the program will help me remain resilient in the face of any future disruptions, while meeting growing patient demand for telehealth services.”
Adapting to Changing Consumer Behavior
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of telehealth solutions as a way to maintain the safety of the healthcare provider and patient alike. At the same time, hearing is a basic requirement for one’s safety, similar to face masks and hand sanitizers; proper hearing can help reduce risk of infection by enabling people to hear others from safe distances. Also, as many people rely on phone calls and video conferencing to stay connected, untreated hearing loss can impact one’s ability to communicate.
Remote Care from Signia is designed to help provide the telehealth services consumers increasingly expect, while helping people benefit from hearing aids during this challenging time, according to the company. Without compromising quality of care, HCPs can deliver “comprehensive remote support, while offering greater convenience to their patients today, and going forward,” the company says. This is especially important for high-risk patients, individuals with limited mobility, and those who rely on others for transportation.
“With in-person service now difficult or impossible, hearing care professionals must adapt quickly to support current and new patients with high-quality care,” said Dr Tish Ramirez, AuD, Signia’s Vice President, Clinical Education & Professional Relations. “Remote Care is a versatile solution to meet patient needs at any stage of their journey to better hearing. As a result, the hearing care professional can fine-tune a current wearer’s devices or conduct the complete screening and fitting process for new patients, and ensure each individual’s long-term success.”
How Remote Care Works
Remote Care gives HCPs the “flexibility to conduct any or all steps of a hearing aid fitting, depending on their location’s licensing laws, social distancing guidelines, or a patient’s preferences, while providing the same level of care as if they were in the office.”
For patients in need of a hearing test, Signia can support them with an online screening. Signia has partnered with SHOEBOX, which offers a test to screen hearing loss remotely.
Signia also offers pre-programmed hearing aids direct to patients. Alternately, devices can be sent to the HCP and given to the patient via curbside pickup. Then, via follow-up appointments, the HCP can adjust and fine-tune the hearing aids, as they can with their current patients.
A Continued Legacy of TeleHealth Innovation
Signia has long been a “pioneer in telehealth solutions for audiology,” and Remote Care reportedly expands upon TeleCare, first introduced by Signia in 2016. TeleCare was found by 70% of HCPs to increase patient satisfaction, while 75% report it delivers greater convenience for them and their patients. Additionally, a study of 23,000 hearing aid wearers found that TeleCare leads to a 19% increase in hearing aid acceptance.
Remote Care also includes another innovation: the Signia Assistant. This new virtual assistant is built upon artificial intelligence technology and is said to “provide 24/7 support in the form of intuitive, text-based dialogue.” With tailored sound adjustments and how-to videos, 93% of patients who use Signia Assistant say that it boosts their confidence and makes them feel more in control of their hearing success.
More information about Signia’s cutting-edge Remote Care can be found at: https://pro.signiausa.com/signia-remote-care-center.
Munhóes dos Santos G. Signia. Achieving Excellence in Customer Service with TeleCare. https://www.signia-library.com/scientific_marketing/achieving-excellence-in-customer-service-with-telecare/. Published March 26, 2019.
Froehlich M, Branda E, Apel D. Signia TeleCare facilitates improvements in hearing aid fitting outcomes. AudiologyOnline. https://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/signia-telecare-facilitates-improvements-in-24096. Published January 4, 2019.
Data on file.