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Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hearing Healthcare for Remote Areas

small home on island in remote location

Approximately 12,000 babies each year are born with some form of permanent hearing loss. It is the most common birth anomaly in America. Children with hearing loss who have follow up care and receive treatment and intervention can achieve developmental milestones in accord with hearing children. But what if a child cannot receive that care because a parent lives far from services and cannot afford the days off of work necessary to travel and receive treatment? Today's technology might have a solution.

Having a child with a physical difference can prove a challenge for most parents, but when location and work pressures add to this strain, it is often the child who must suffer. Seeking to remedy follow-up care for babies whose parents live in remote locations, Vanderbilt’s Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences are using remote technologies to allow patients to come face to face with a hearing health provider even though they are far removed from one another. According to an article in Science Daily “If we can provide this easily, and closer to their homes, then our hope is that once a baby’s hearing loss is confirmed through our follow-up testing those families will seek intervention services for their child.”

In addition to allowing parents in remotion locations hearing health services, this program teaches hearing health professionals how to examine and teach patients through remote access. Perhaps one day, remote access programs will be able to provide services similar to the kind currently available in more densely populated locations like in this below video.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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