Amplifon Hearing Health Care launches virtual services

Amplifon Hearing Health Care, an independent provider of hearing benefit solutions in the United States, announced the launch of its virtual care program to increase hearing loss awareness, prevention and early intervention.

The “Telehealth for Hearing” program by Amplifon”, is being rolled out in the United States to health plan partners.

Telehealth for hearing includes several features:

  • A virtual hearing assessment via the exclusive AmpliTest app allows members to take an on-demand screening test, facilitated by the Amplifon care team. The assessment is not affected by a member’s language proficiency and is “very accurate,” according to the company. If hearing loss is confirmed, a care advisor will contact the member to schedule an appointment at the clinic for a hearing examination with a hearing care professional best suited to the member’s needs who can make a diagnosis. Additionally, the Care Advocate will provide personalized hearing health education prior to the clinic visit.
  • Personalized coaching is carried out by Amplifon’s healthcare team via a coaching application. The Amplifon app monitors hearing aid usage and performance throughout the member’s hearing care journey to improve the member’s experience with their hearing aids.
  • On-demand virtual visits with a care team for dedicated follow-up service and support.

“We are excited to introduce our latest innovation in hearing health care that will benefit members, providers and health plans,” said Guillaume Bonniol, senior vice president of Amplifon Hearing Health Care. “Fueled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has exploded in popularity. Now, from the comfort of their own home, members can have a hearing screening and, with the support of our care team, determine if they have a hearing loss and should see a hearing care professional for a full audiometric examination and diagnosis. In the event that hearing aids are needed, people can receive ongoing, non-clinical support through virtual visits. By combining our program with personalized coaching, we can also improve the user experience with the aim of promoting greater adaptation and satisfaction among hearing aid wearers.

About 40 million people suffer from hearing loss, but it is largely undiagnosed and untreated. The economic impact of untreated hearing loss is significant. Untreated people with hearing loss incurred, on average, 46% higher total healthcare costs — $22,434 per patient — compared to their peers with standard hearing over a decade, with plans health insurance covering $20,403 of that amount, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

“Untreated hearing loss can have a direct effect on many serious health conditions, increasing the likelihood of developing dementia and depression, and increasing the risk of falls with injury,” said Carrie Meyer, AuD, program director clinics, Amplifon Hearing Health Care. “Hearing loss is also associated with social isolation, which is a risk factor for cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. All of these comorbidities lead to higher health care costs. So the earlier we can detect and remedy hearing loss through innovations such as telehealth for hearing, the more we can help minimize comorbidities, which helps health plans save money.

Source: Ampliphon

Perry A. Thomasson