The Role of Telemedicine in Audiology
The global health industry has seen various inventions, all in a bid to better the patient services offered. Thanks to global technological advancements and the rise in internet use, health professionals are now better placed to provide prompt and efficient services to their patients.
One of the most useful inventions is telemedicine. Although the concept is only now gaining popularity, telemedicine traces its roots back to the fifties, when hospitals tried to provide healthcare access to patients in remote areas. So, what exactly is telemedicine, and how does it benefit the patients? We delve into all the details below.
Telemedicine refers to the use of technology to provide remote health services to patients, regardless of where they are. Telemedicine allows millions of people to access clinical health services in real-time using electronic visual and audio means. As long as both the patient and the doctor have access to smartphones, desktops, or laptops, there’s no need to make trips to the doctor’s office.
Telemedicine made its debut in the late 1950s when hospitals began to find new ways to connect with patients in remote areas. The first few efforts involved connecting doctors and patients to specialists who were elsewhere. With the rise of the internet, telemedicine opened up even better avenues, allowing for its application in various medical specialties.
In its infancy stage, telemedicine was primarily conducted through telephone to share information. Today, telemedicine facilitates the diagnosis of some diseases, follow-up sessions for post-op patients, management of chronic diseases, discrete mental health services, among other medical services.
Benefits of Telemedicine to the Patients
Undoubtedly, telemedicine offers several benefits to both patients and doctors. For both parties, remote access to digital health provides convenience and ensures that people have access to healthcare services regardless of location. Healthcare professionals get to offer better follow-up services and in less time. Besides, they can easily consult with specialists, making it easier for them to manage chronic conditions.
For patients, telemedicine offers an array of benefits. Here are some of the ways through which patients stand to gain from this technological venture.
- Increased Patient Autonomy
This is, by far, one of the most significant benefits. Patients often face several challenges when accessing healthcare services from hospitals and clinics. They have to book appointments and eventually still end up spending hours in the waiting room. Additionally, they may have to contend with having their medical requests brushed away as the medical staff tries to attend to everyone.
With telemedicine, patients have better control over the kind of services they receive. They don’t have to wait in crowded rooms for their turn to see a doctor. Once they have made an appointment, they only need to be available for the meeting and voila! They get a better communication channel with the healthcare professional, all from the comfort of their homes.
- Reduced Transportation Costs
Let’s face it, healthcare is expensive, and if you have to travel to and from the doctor’s office every so often, you may end up spending a fortune just to keep your health in check. Telemedicine comes in handy, in that patients don’t have to worry about transportation costs. All you need is internet connectivity and a device to help you communicate with the doctor.
- Better Access to Specialist Services
Patients who suffer from rare diseases often have to spend so much money trying to get a specialist consultation. Often, they have to travel to different hospitals, sometimes outside the country as well. For some, getting to see a specialist for their condition may require them to book an appointment months before, and they may still end up missing the appointment entirely, for various reasons.
Telemedicine makes it easier for patients to access specialist services. Together with their local doctors, patients can quickly schedule meetings with specialists who can help diagnose and treat their conditions. Besides reducing the costs to be incurred, telemedicine facilitates faster diagnosis, which plays a crucial role in the survival chances for patients with some chronic diseases, such as cancer.
The Vital Role of Teleaudiology
Telemedicine has cut out a niche for itself across various medicine practices, including cardiology, speech pathology, and neurology. However, healthcare professionals in different medical fields are now looking for ways to leverage the innovative technological advancement.
One of the newest players in the field is teleaudiology, which basically refers to the provision of remote hearing care services. Like other healthcare professionals, audiologists are now turning to technology to improve their services and offer convenience, accessibility, and reduced costs to their patients.
Teleaudiology helps to overcome several challenges in the audiology field. For starters, people living in remote areas where it would normally be difficult to access traditional audiology services get to have more options for hearing care services. Besides, professionals get to provide better services to more people, all at reduced costs associated with in-person hospital visits.
Teleaudiology covers a wide range of services, including evaluations and hearing aid management. More audiology companies are now jumping on board to reduce the need for unnecessary appointments.
Orka’s Teleaudiology Services: Remote Fitting
Orka is one of the game-changers in the audiology field, thanks to its provision of AI-powered advanced hearing aids. Orka hearing aids allow users to amplify real-time human voices for better sound qualities. The devices also feature a smart and Bluetooth connection, besides a comfortable and stylish look.
To deliver better quality services, Orka is employing teleaudiology by offering remote fitting. Patients who require hearing aids typically require fitting done to ensure they get the best possible devices for them. Orka provides remote online fitting services that require less effort, save on time, and help reduce costs.
The Orka remote fitting appointment takes about 30–40 minutes via the Orka app. During the session, patients get to chat with an audiologist from Orka. The fitting season’s primary aim is for the audiologist to confirm your hearing status and set the Orka hearing aids to suit your hearing needs. Additionally, the audiologist will check the fitting to ensure the hearing aids are comfortable and working perfectly.
Patients can book a remote fitting appointment via the app or through the official website. They also get the options of canceling or rescheduling their appointments to times that suit them best.
Most patients will be skeptical about having their fitting done online. However, remote fitting is just as effective as in-person fitting, only that it is less of a hassle. It allows patients to have their Orka fitting appointments from just about anywhere without going all the way to the audiologist’s office.
The invention of telemedicine was undoubtedly one of the most significant steps in the medical field. Thanks to technology, patients who have trouble accessing healthcare services can comfortably do so from wherever they are, as long as they have connection devices and access to the internet.
Teleaudiology, in particular, has been of significant help to many people across the world. Orka One is not to be left behind, and we are making giant leaps in providing teleaudiology services to our patients. You don’t have to worry about making that trip to the audiologist’s office. Simply download the Orka app or visit our website, and we’ll connect you to an audiologist so you can get started with your journey to better hearing.