Oticon Medical recently convened a Patient Advocacy Summit at the company’s Somerset, NJ headquarters to explore ways to increase social media, networking, support groups and other means of disseminating information to better meet the needs of people with conductive and mixed hearing loss and single-sided deafness.

The weekend summit provided a knowledge-sharing forum for more than 25 bone anchored hearing device users and their family members (pictured) who are among the most pro-active and influential advocates in regional and national outreach.

Alan Raffauf, MA, Oticon Medical vice president of marketing, explained the reasoning behind the summit in Oticon’s press release. He said, “In our work with physicians and audiologists across the country, we know that there is a critical information gap that prevents many people with conductive and mixed hearing loss and single-sided deafness from taking advantage of the advances in bone anchored implants that have occurred in the last few years. Our goal is to ensure that people understand the many choices available to them and to create opportunities for them to connect with people who share their experiences and challenges.”

Earlier this year, Oticon Medical introduced a newly enhanced oticonmedical.com website that includes user-friendly improvements designed to focus on increasing the level of engagement of website visitors with practical information and resources, including a clinic locator. The website also connects visitors with current bone anchored hearing aid users.

A number of the advocates participating in the Advocacy Summit are already active contributors to the Oticon Medical website, providing first-person commentary on their experiences with Ponto Pro and Ponto Pro Power. The website’s one-to-one contact option enables individuals considering a bone anchored hearing aid to connect with experienced users for more personalized interaction. Interested individuals are matched to users with similar hearing loss, age, and geographic location who contact them by email or phone to share experiences and answer questions.

While the Advocacy Summit focused on empowering advocacy leaders to better utilize social media and other media channels for their outreach initiatives, the gathering also provided an opportunity for Oticon Medical staff to gain new insights into bone anchored hearing solution users, and their expectations and needs.

“This is the second year we have brought together thought leaders in patient advocacy,” says Raffauf. “Each time, there has been mutual benefit from the knowledge sharing that occurs and we each return to our work with a renewed commitment to increase access to hearing care information and support that can be truly life-changing.”

SOURCE: Oticon Medical