In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Phonak US announced a series of steps to boost support for hearing health care professionals and their patients. These measures include accelerating the delivery of Phonak eSolutions while increasing service offerings for professionals and patients. Also announced is the creation of a COVID-19 Info Hub for all hearing care professionals at: Info Hub will serve as “a one-stop resource center, facilitating the quick dissemination of news, product, and support updates, training, and more.”

Accelerating eSolutions

The US market experienced a nearly fivefold increase in Phonak Remote Support sessions from February through March of this year, according to the company. To keep pace with the need for eAudiology right now, Phonak is accelerating the availability of its eSolutions portfolio over the next several weeks to include a “fully comprehensive suite of remote hearing care services.” The company has already increased its number of online training courses, including live and on-demand Remote Support classes led by experts in research audiology and clinical training. Links to all online classes and eSolutions resources will be accessible via the new Info Hub.

Launched in May of 2018, Phonak Remote Support helps “empower hearing care professionals to provide their patients with a robust offering of remote services including remote fine-tuning and adjustments in real-time.” The solution is “fully integrated into Phonak’s Target fitting software, allowing professionals to seamlessly connect to a patient’s Marvel hearing aids via the myPhonak app on their smartphone,” Phonak says. 

Since all Phonak Marvel hearing aids have universal Bluetooth® connectivity, professionals can offer remote support services to patients with iOS and Android smartphones. In addition, Phonak continues to partner with Microsoft to leverage its Azure Cloud platform, helping to ensure “the safe, reliable, and HIPAA-compliant transmission of data.”

“Phonak has been committed to the field of eAudiology and the development of eSolutions for years, and never has our industry needed these tools at their disposal more than right now,” said Sandy Brandmeier, President, HI Wholesale Sonova US. “These solutions allow hearing care professionals to deliver remote hearing care to their patients during this unprecedented time, and we’re proud to be expanding on these offerings in the weeks to come.” 

Expanding Support for Repair Home Delivery Requests

Because hearing is even more essential during challenging times, Phonak is increasing support for repair home delivery requests. Hearing care professionals may now contact Phonak directly to coordinate a repair request for their patient. After receiving the patient’s information, Phonak will ship the patient a package containing a prepaid, self-addressed FedEx label, completed service order form, and a padded clamshell box for safe shipping. Phonak has already been offering professionals the option to have in-transit hearing aid repairs sent directly to their patient’s home with no signature required and with no additional fee.

“We understand the needs of our customers and their patients have rapidly evolved over the past six weeks, and so have we as an organization to better serve them,” said Brandmeier. “While the safety of our customers and their patients remains paramount, we’re confident the steps we’re taking will continue to enable professionals to deliver essential hearing care while navigating the current realities of stay-at-home orders, self-quarantining, and social distancing.”

The Hearing Review recently featured a 10-part, expert series on incorporating eAudiology into a hearing healthcare practice, called the “Phonak ABCs of eAudiology.” Please see below for article links:

Phonak ABCs of eAudiology

#1: 10 Steps to Licensure & Stakeholder Support for eAudiology, By William Campbell

#2: 10 Steps to Optimizing Your eAudiology Practice Environment, By Danielle Glista, PhD

#3: 10 Steps to Clinical Applications & Providing Feedback for eAudiology, By Gurjit Singh, PhD

#4: 10 Steps to Employee Training, By Karen Muñoz, EdD

#5: 10 Steps to Scheduling & Reimbursement for eAudiology, By Rachel Higginbotham, AuD

#6: 10 Steps to Technology & Connectivity for eAudiology, By Jean Anne Schnittker, AuD

#7: 10 Steps to Talking to Clients about eAudiology, By Gina Angley, AuD

#8: 10 Steps to Client Selection & Other Considerations for eAudiology, By Dr Evelyn Davies-Venn

#9: 10 Steps to Family-centered Care for eAudiology, By Joseph Montano, EdD

#10: 10 Steps to Record Keeping & Data Protection for eAudiology, By William Campbell

Bluetooth® is a registered trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Sonova AG is under license.

iOS is a trademark of Cisco Technology, Inc.

Android is a trademark of Google LLC.

Azure® is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States and/or other countries.

Source: Phonak