Bluetooth know-how and eSolutions showcased: Phonak eAudiology event

Read about our recent eAudiology event in London, which shone a light on the impressive new suite of Phonak eSolutions.

Our recent eAudiology event in London marked the culmination of a series of events shining a light on the impressive new suite of Phonak eSolutions, announcing new product launches and supporting attendees with Bluetooth advice and know-how.

Over 100 attendees joined the Phonak team at roadshows across the country, taking part in a morning of informative sessions showcasing the new Marvel hearing aid; learning more about ‘listening effort’ and StereoZoom technology, and a popular session: Understanding Bluetooth.

Following a networking lunch, attendees were invited to explore the eSolutions for themselves, taking part in hosted demonstrations of Phonak’s eSolutions: Remote Support, myCall-to-Text, Phonak eLearning, eStore, Hearing Screener and more.

The Phonak eLearning, or LMS, proved popular with many attendees remarking on the ease of use of the online modular learning system, and the flexibility it offers. Modules are designed to be accessible from any device, at your convenience and are just 15 minutes long – perfect for a commute, tea break or evening activity if the working day is jam-packed with customers!

Like this? Read: Smart apps: the next step in hearing aid technology

Also popular was the Phonak eStore – attendees were taken through the ordering process by the Phonak team and shown just how accurate and bespoke the orders could be with just a few clicks. Several audiologists in the group were already fans of the eStore – if you’re yet to try it out then click here to learn more, or contact the team to get started.

In the coming months, we’ll publish a series of blogs taking a closer look at each of our eSolutions; explaining what they are, how they work, and how to set them up – plus any other FAQs about the technology – so you’re fully equipped with the knowledge you need to better inform your customers.

Want to get started with Phonak’s eSolutions? Contact Phonak’s customer services to find out how: 01925 623 600

New guidelines urge GPs to provide hearing aids early

As a leading audiology expert, Phonak very much welcomes new guidance published by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), which urges General Practitioners (GPs) to respond at the very first signs that hearing loss is affecting the lives of their patients.

According to NICE, GPs should end the practice of using ‘arbitrary thresholds’ when deciding what to do about hearing loss and instead act at the first signs of impairment.

The new guidelines have a very wide impact. Hearing charity Action on Hearing Loss estimates that more than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70. And NICE estimates that by 2035 there will be around 13 million people with hearing loss in England – that’s a fifth of the population.

The new NICE guidelines come after a number of high profile cases in the press that revealed some NHS trusts had stopped making hearing aids available to those with mild hearing loss and were also making only limited provision for those with moderate hearing loss. It had also become clear that the care offered to people with hearing difficulties varied extensively, depending on where they lived and which NHS Trust served their area.

It is believed that in some areas two-thirds of patients face delays in having their hearing loss diagnosed and accurately managed. Just as worrying, some patients who would benefit from hearing aids in both ears receive only a single aid in a bid to save money. This is widely seen as a false economy since the resulting complications can lead to costly treatments further down the line.

The NICE guidelines suggest that GPs should offer patients “options for managing their hearing needs, such as acoustic or bone conduction hearing aids, assistive listening devices and communication strategies”. It goes on to explain that some may need referrals for “implantable devices such as cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids, middle-ear implants or auditory brainstem implants” and that their condition should be thoroughly assessed from the very beginning.

Another important issue raised is the importance of referring adults with diagnosed or suspected dementia or mild cognitive impairment to an audiology service for a hearing assessment because hearing loss is a common complication in such cases.

At Phonak, we believe that provision and access to care should never be restricted. We welcome the new NICE guidelines and look forward to faster and more effective diagnostic protocols being implemented by GPs across the UK, not least because Phonak’s wide experience shows that providing patients with the right hearing aids at the first sign of hearing impairment not only has a huge impact on their quality of life, but also on the progress of their hearing impairment in future years.