GN Hearing, today announced the introduction of ReSound Assist Live as a response to current COVID-19 situation. The new telehealth solution is a real-time video-enabled hearing care service. Hearing care has been hard to access recently with many hearing care businesses closed to face to face appointments. GN says "At a time when elderly, more vulnerable populations are advised to stay home, this innovative telehealth solution enables people, from the comfort and safety of their home, to connect with their hearing care professional for new hearing aids and care remotely." The new service will offer more than just fine-tuning and fitting of hearing aids, it will also offer limited hearing testing as well.
People are finding it difficult to access care right now because of the need to restrict movement. Many hearing care professionals are offering remote care services and curbside drop-off and pick-up services. Most remote care solutions available are limited in what they can offer, and while with many, fine-tuning hearing aids is a possibility, we can't take most of the steps we need to fit hearing aids remotely.
Nor can we offer a remote hearing test service through any of the current telecare solutions available. It means that our services are very limited at this time. GN has accelerated its development programme for Resound Assist and partnered with HearX, an innovative South African company to begin to meet the wider needs of people with hearing loss. They say:
- In the context of COVID-19, the accelerated launch of ReSound Assist Live enables a new, ground-breaking way to access hearing care, reducing the need for in-office visits at a time when older, more vulnerable populations are advised to stay at home.
- Cutting-edge telehealth allows for the broadest range of at-home hearing care services for those with hearing loss, keeping them connected to family and community.
- The new solutions will allow people to take a hearing test, currently in the US, in a drive-through setting or at home, buy and receive hearing aids and have them adjusted, without having to enter the clinic.
The full service will be pushed out in conjunction with hearing care professionals across the world. Resound say:
ReSound Assist Live is available on April 2, 2020, in the US, Canada, the U.K., Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and globally from May 1. At-home and drive-through hearing tests will be offered shortly in the US. With the launch of ReSound Assist Live, people can now have new hearing aids adjusted remotely by their hearing care professional via new at-home video consultations without physically going to a clinic. Additionally, in these difficult times, hearing care professionals can provide new hearing aids for those who have recently completed a hearing test. In collaboration with HearX, a digital health care company focused on mobile hearing screening, testing and video otoscopy, hearing care professionals in the US can also offer drive-through or at-home hearing tests and receive adjustments and counselling via ReSound Assist Live.
I am reaching out to GN Hearing at the moment to ascertain whether the new At-home hearing test system will be available in the UK and other locations as well.
While the hearing test may not be a full test procedure, I believe there will be a way to capture an image of your ear canal to ensure it is clear and that the headset is a calibrated one giving air conduction hearing threshold results to the highest standard. While that is not ideal, it is far better than nothing considering the current crisis.
The ReSound Assist Live solution will also mean that current ReSound hearing aid wearers will have access to a much fuller remote care support with virtual face to face communication with their hearing care professional. In all, it can't be seen as a bad thing and hopefully, it will be a worthy stopgap during this time of crisis. Speaking of that, please keep safe, stay at home and with hope, and the innovation of the medical scientific community, we shall return to some sort of normalcy soon.