This week I was able to meet up with a colleague while at a conference. During our dinner conversation, we reminisced about “the way things were.” Ten (or more!) years ago, things seemed much simpler: landline phones were often saved for endearing or emergency calls, television was watched in real-time, and a tablet computer meant you were rich! Times seemed so much easier back then.
After dinner was over, I summoned a Lyft driver from my smartphone, paid online with my stored credit card, confirmed the credit card transaction from the company via email (to ensure it was really me making the purchase), and was back at my hotel working on my laptop in less than 15 minutes. Little of this was possible ten years ago. So, were things really that much better ten years ago?
Telehealth (sometimes referred to as telemedicine, or in audiology’s case, e-Audiology) is certainly making things more convenient. Telehealth takes advantage of the computer technology and provides a face-to-face discussion – similar to Skype or Facetime – with a provider using a webcam and secure web portal. It eliminates the need to drive to a physical office (or sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic), wait for (or past) an appointment time, and then drive back home after the visit. Research shows that the outcomes for telehealth are consistently as good as in-person visits and many patients prefer the option.
Designer Audiology is pleased to announce that we have added telehealth for our patients. Currently, telehealth is available for troubleshooting of devices (hearing aids, PSAPs, BAHAs, cochlear implants), counseling of devices, counseling of outcomes and treatment plans, and general follow-up visits. Designer Audiology provides a secure portal and video link and the patient connects with their own phone or computer with webcam. There is no additional cost to use the telehealth service. Maryland law allows us to offer telehealth to individuals in Maryland.
While not all of our services can be performed using the telehealth option (yet!), technological advances will continue to improve. In 10 years, when my colleague and I have dinner again, we may look back at how “simple” this time really was.
Click here to schedule a telehealth appointment.