Coronavirus Spain: 34% of audiologists foresee boost for online hearing services



© Courtesy of GN Group

An online-offline mix is the future service model seen by 34% of Spain's audiologists and practices as a medium-term outcome from the coronavirus crisis. This is just one of the data nuggets from a survey carried out by GN Group to evaluate the economic fallout from the pandemic.

A total of 782 persons from the Spanish audiology sector took part in the survey, which also revealed the brutal hit suffered to hearing aid sales, with 77% of practices claiming a 100% reduction in turnover from fittings. In accessory sales, 52% claimed a similar wipe-out, while 45% registered zero income from repairs. The survey was carried out at the height of the lockdown in Spain, from April 20 to 24.

More than 76% of participants said they had taken measures that affect employees, while 40% plan a reduction in their overall business budget. A spend in announcing reopening of practices was envisaged by 26% of survey contestants.

Looking forward, in respect of business prospects, almost half of those surveyed believe that an upturn in sales will come in the autumn, in September or October, but 20% of practices believe they must wait until 2021 to see brighter figures. Regarding stabilisation of sales, 67% of those surveyed believe this will not happen until 2021. A May or June reopening was envisaged by 80% of contestants.

While in many aspects, the survey results reflect the data produced in other sectors, no rapid and overwhelming move to digital service models was contemplated by participants, with 61% considering that their sales revenue will continue to come through traditional channels, i.e. centre attendance and face-to-face service. A mixed model of online-offline services was foreseen by 34% of participants.

"It is clear that the impact of coronavirus on audiology will be considerable: major transformations can be be expected in many aspects, such as the adoption of hygiene measures to create a safe environment in hearing centres, and a strengthened service provision that will progressively open the way to the digital world," explained the authors of this field work.

Source: Audio en Portada