Tommy Evans, a doctor of audiology at Cincinnati Children's, explains how Telehealth services can help families who live outside of the Cincinnati area but need to see specialists for their child's hearing loss.
If babies can be diagnosed and treated for hearing loss by 6 months of age, they are more likely to develop speech and language comparable to their hearing peers. But the follow-up required can be a barrier for many families.
That's why Cincinnati Children's offers Telehealth, a secure video technology that lets families connect with an audiologist without leaving home.
Audiologists use Telehealth for two kinds of appointments: hearing aid evaluations and follow-up visits to see how the hearing aids are working.
Angela and Shelby Jordan's 1-year-old son, Axl, was diagnosed at birth with both Down syndrome and hearing loss. Because they live 3 hours away from Cincinnati in a rural location, Telehealth has made the process of getting hearing aids for Axl much easier. They've used the service for both hearing aid evaluation and for follow-up.
The only thing families need for Telehealth is a tablet, smart phone or computer with a camera.
Telehealth is well-suited for families in rural locations. But it can work for anyone, including school personnel who could use Telehealth to troubleshoot children's hearing aid equipment problems
Partnering with pediatricians is in the future as well.