Researchers at the University of Kentucky (UK) are using telepractice to reach and remotely assess potential candidates for cochlear implants who live in the rural areas of Appalachia.
Clients undertaking remote diagnostic assessments use a computer screen to interact with an audiologist in Lexinton, KY, through calibrated headphones or speakers attached to the screen. This audio- and video conferencing technology facilitates accurate, remote diagnostic testing and pre-surgery counselling for prospective recipients of cochlear implants.
The researchers’ goal is to bring the telehealth technology to a level that clients have the same confidence in a remote appointment, as with a ‘face’ session with a professional.
Remote Implant Programming And Follow-Up
Boys Town National Research Hospital in the US, is similarly assessing remote health care delivery for children who wear cochlear implants, to save families travelling to appointments.
Three studies are in progress at the hospital, the first of which prioritises the programming of cochlear implants for children through pediatric hearing tests conducted via telepractice.
Remote testing of speech understanding in children with cochlear implants and broader evaluation of their audiological outcomes are similarly being studied by these researchers with a view to delivering these services to families in their own home towns.