Hearing health care company Phonak announced it has partnered with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make remote hearing care, including hearing aid fine-tuning and adjustments, a reality for veterans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond. With Phonak Remote Support, VA audiologists can now extend care beyond the walls of their clinics to patients who are social distancing, have mobility challenges, or to those who prefer virtual follow-up sessions. The technology comes only five weeks after the VA released its COVID-19 Response Plan, which highlighted telehealth services as a “preferred healthcare delivery system for veterans without COVID-19.”
How Phonak Remote Support Works
VA audiologists can initiate a Remote Support session through a tab in Phonak’s professional fitting software. At appointment time, patients use the free myPhonak app on their smartphone to virtually connect with their audiologist via secure voice, text, or video chat. Because the patient’s phone is linked to his/her hearing aids via Bluetooth® technology, the audiologist gains direct access to all hearing aid settings via the smartphone. This allows veterans to receive on-the-spot tuning, program changes, counseling, and more, in real-time while remaining safely at home.
“Phonak is proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs to make remote hearing aid adjustments and live patient counseling possible for our nation’s heroes,” said Johanna Bailey-Stark, AuD, senior director of government services for Phonak. “This is important because success with hearing aids has been linked to emotional, cognitive, and even physical well-being. While telehealth services like Remote Support are critical during the coronavirus pandemic, they also support several ongoing VA Strategic Goals & Objectives, including the delivery of healthcare that enhances veteran well-being and independence.”
Click here to learn more about how Phonak supports US veterans, including Phonak Remote Support technology, hearing aids on VA contract, and other government services.