Amplifon Hearing Health Care, an independent provider of hearing benefit solutions in the US, announced the launch of its virtual care program to increase hearing loss awareness, prevention, and early intervention.
The program, “Telehealth for Hearing by Amplifon,” is being rolled out across the United States to health plan partners.
Telehealth for Hearing includes several features:
- A virtual hearing assessment via the proprietary AmpliTest app allows members to take an on-demand screening test, facilitated by Amplifon’s care team. The assessment is not affected by a member’s language fluency and is “highly accurate,” according to the company. If hearing loss is confirmed, a care advocate will contact the member to schedule a clinic appointment for a hearing exam with a hearing care professional best suited for the member’s needs who can make a diagnosis. In addition, the care advocate will provide personalized hearing health education prior to the clinic visit.
- Personalized coaching is achieved by Amplifon’s care team via a coaching app. The Amplifon app monitors usage and performance of hearing aid throughout the member’s hearing care journey to enhance the member’s experience with their hearing aids.
- On-demand virtual visits with care team for dedicated aftercare service and support.
“We are excited to introduce our latest innovation in hearing health care that will benefit members, providers, and health plans,” said Guillaume Bonniol, senior vice president of Amplifon Hearing Health Care. “Fueled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has exploded in popularity. Now, from the comfort of their homes, members can take a hearing screening and, with the support of our care team, determine whether they have hearing loss and should visit a hearing care professional for a full audiometric exam and diagnosis. In the event hearing aids are needed, individuals can receive ongoing, non-clinical support via virtual visits. By pairing our program with personalized coaching, we can also enhance the user experience with the goal of driving greater adaptation and satisfaction among hearing aid wearers.”
Approximately 40 million people have hearing loss, yet it is widely undiagnosed and untreated. The economic impact of untreated hearing loss is significant. Individuals with untreated hearing loss incurred, on average, 46% higher total health care costs — $22,434 per patient— versus their standard-hearing peers over the course of a decade, with health plans covering $20,403 of this amount, according to a Johns Hopkins study.
“Untreated hearing loss can have a direct effect on many serious health conditions, increasing the likelihood of developing dementia and depression, and increasing the risk for falls with injury,” said Carrie Meyer, AuD, director of clinical programs, Amplifon Hearing Health Care. “Hearing loss is also associated with social isolation, which is a risk factor for cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. All these comorbidities result in higher health care costs. So, the earlier we can detect and remediate hearing loss through innovations like Telehealth for Hearing, the more we can help minimize comorbidities, which in turn helps health plans achieve cost savings.”