What it is
Signia TeleCare is the world’s first telehealth tool that instantly connects hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professionals (HCP). By bringing patients and professionals closer than ever before during the critical home trial period and beyond, TeleCare helps patients stay satisfied with their new hearing aids even after they leave the office, and helps HCPs save time and differentiate their practice. It consists of two parts:
- A smartphone myHearing app that can be downloaded for free via the App Store or Google Play.
- A web-based portal that professionals use to stay in contact with patients. All information sent and received from the patient’s smartphone app is also recorded within this portal. Once the HCP helps the patient download and set-up the smartphone app, they are connected and can exchange information with security and privacy ensured via end-to-end encryption.
What it does
TeleCare provides benefit for both patients and hearing care professionals. Benefits for the patient include:
- Convenient professional access. The patient can initiate real-time text or audio calls with the HCP via the app to ask questions and solve problems as they arise. Patient questions can be resolved without having to wait for the next follow-up appointment, which can be weeks away.
- Interactive use and care guide. The app contains information about their specific hearing aids’ functionalities, and care and usage instructions. This includes handling videos as well as frequently asked questions.
- Universal remote control. The app also turns the patient’s smartphone into a hearing aid remote control with adjustment possibilities for volume, program, microphone focus, tone control, and tinnitus therapy volume.
- Gamified learning. Patients are given listening tasks to become familiar with the new listening experience and usage of the new aids. As these tasks are performed, they are asked to rate their experiences, as well as overall daily satisfaction. This becomes visible to the HCP via the portal.
While for the hearing care professional, benefits include:
- Improved patient monitoring. With the secure professional portal, HCPs can monitor their patients’ progress in terms of listening experiences and hearing aid usage on the patient app any time. Negative patient ratings are highlighted so the professional is alerted in a timely manner.
- Remote adjustments. HCPs can send new hearing aid setting adjustments directly via the professional portal to the patient app. More than just program or volume adjustments, the latest TeleCare 2.0 even enables explicit frequency shaping in four bands. Since the hearing aids and the myHearing app are linked, the patient can instantly accept and try the proposed settings. The hearing aids automatically adjust themselves anywhere in the world with an internet connection and without the patient having to personally visit the HCP’s office.
- Patient care without taking up valuable office time. Minor patient problems and question can be addressed in a few minutes with a quick voice call or text, freeing up valuable appointment time and increasing productivity.
- Easy problem identification. Patient feedback provided via the myHearing app is visible in the HCP portal. This feedback provides talking points during follow-up appointments, and pinpoints issues which require further fine-tuning adjustments or counseling.
- Differentiation from competition. The enhanced levels of patient care enabled by TeleCare allows the HCP to highlight his or her professionalism and expertise to patients.
Screenshot from the myHearing app.
Why it is important
MarkeTrak 9 has shown that 27 percent of patients who were recommended hearing aids chose not to keep them after the trial period. Yet for those who ultimately did purchase hearing aids, the second and fourth most commonly cited reasons were, “Trusted the hearing care professional” and “The trial clearly showed hearing aids could improve hearing” respectively. These results clearly illustrate the importance of the HCP’s involvement and accessibility in the trial process.Signia TeleCare serves as the software platform to make HCPs both more involved and more accessible to patients during this trial period and well beyond. It helps remove the boundaries toward hearing aid acceptance, while creating a new remote hearing care platform to bring patients and their hearing care professionals closer together.
TeleCare is compatible with all primax hearing aids. In fact, HCPs can use TeleCare with all their patients, regardless of the make or model of the hearing aid used. However, note that the remote adjustments functionality and hearing aid specific use and care guides are only applicable when used with Signia primax hearing aids.
Find out more
Hoydal, Erik. TeleCare 2.0 – New tools to enhance patient care and fitting outcomes. Signia Whitepaper, 2017.
Ramirez, Patricia. Telehealth Apps and Hearing Aid Trial Periods: New Technology to Revolutionize Patient Care. Hearing Review. November 2016, p. 28.
Learn How Signia TeleCare Works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5yBryz5jqc
Hearing Care Professionals share their experiences: