In the US state of Kentucky, telepractice for child hearing health care is being researched, starting from newborn hearing tests through to when early intervention begins. Notably, parents of children with hearing-devices are involved in developing a client navigator model for families new to this specific health system after a child’s hearing issues are detected.
As the lead researcher, Dr Matthew Bush, notes:
The clinic setting… fueled my efforts… because the patients have some tear-jerking stories. They didn’t have access to [hearing] services, or they were totally unaware there were options to help their child. There has been little research about telemedicine to change long-term hearing outcomes in children and access to hearing health care.
Bush highlights the need for early intervention, citing best practice for hearing issues as detection by three months of age, and a response by no later than six months of age. With health literacy as a primary goal, he is involving parents in the client navigator model to support families as lay people familiar with the specific education and social challenges.