Last week a number of our Starkey Australia team attended the Biannual Audiology Australia/HAASA conference in Melbourne. For us, the conference is always a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues for three days of education, networking and socialising.
The future developments within the industry was of particular interest. Hearing about electrophysiology, vestibular disorders, implantable devices and auditory processing was beneficial. It’s important to understand the advancements and research occurring that will enable better hearing.
While looking to the future is insightful, there were also presentations on current technology and results that were useful. A highlight for our team, was a presentation on hearing aids and a feature called Eartrak. Eartrak is an independent body that conducts client surveys to measure everything from satisfaction with hearing provider to the features of the hearing aid. This provides vital information for hearing aid manufacturers, as we spend millions of dollars each year on the research and development of new technologies and features. The data this provides allows us to validate the features that are truly beneficial to our end users, as well as what needs to improve and where research and development dollars need to be spent to provide the most benefit to the user in future.
It is always interesting to see how everyday technology crosses over to the Audiology world. This year the focus was on the great work being carried out in the world of telehealth. Telehealth allows remote audiology appointments to be conducted via the internet. There may come a time, in the near future, where an Audiologist in Sydney can consult with clients via Skype or FaceTime in different states without leaving the comfort of their home!
The conference was also the launchpad for the new “The Break the sound barrier” campaign. One in six Australians has a hearing loss, yet hearing health is not the one of the national health priorities. The purpose of the campaign is to increase awareness and lobby the Australian Government to escalate hearing health as a national health priority. Which will unlock more funding for services, research and most importantly community awareness. Some of the key initiatives of the plan include:
- Hearing checks for all Australians at key stages of life
- A national hearing awareness program
- Improved accessibility for Auslan.
This is a vital campaign for the future of the hearing industry in Australia and Starkey look forward to playing our part in the campaign.
Overall the conference gave us great insight into what we can expect in the future as well as present day, real world insights. We look forward to Sydney in 2018!