New study: remote care for people with cochlear implants

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A team of audiologists from the University of Southampton (UK) are examining how cochlear implant users could manage their own care program through a remote system.

News Medical for Life Sciences and Medicine reports on the 6-month randomized study that will include two groups: one following a standard clinical program and the other using the remote care package.

Once patients benefit from a cochlear implant (CI), they have to visit their care team at least once a year for the rest of their lives. These visits are intended to check that the device is working properly and to monitoring their hearing. This may not be easy for a certain number of patients due to distance, cost, or other commitments. Some are looking for a new approach.

“We’ve found that more users are becoming empowered and want to manage their own care. We want to find out how feasible it is to offer remote care. It won’t be for everyone but it could make a major difference to the lives of many cochlear implant users. We are also interviewing clinic staff, as we are interested to see what the impact of remote care is on them and the service that they provide,” says Helen Cullington, lead investigator on the study.

Patients included in the remote care arm will monitor their hearing and handle their own hearing rehabilitation and device care from home. This will involve access to an open-source software program called “Lifeguide”. Based on the results, the system could be adopted nationally.

Source: News-Medical.

C.S.