Why Audiology Has A Future

Like it or not, audiology is changing, and the challenge to stay relevant is real. But, with change comes opportunity. You need to trust that change is not only constant but necessary and that moving with the times rather than against them is the best plan of action. But how?

The reality is that the traditional static practice (with a sound booth) ties you down to a single location. By restricting your practice to operating only where you house your booth, it becomes difficult to provide care to patients who can’t or won’t come to you.

It’s like sticking with a Nokia 3310 when what you need is an iPhone X (or is it 8? I give up). As any baby boomer will point out, “they both do the same thing; make and receive calls and messages and that’s all I need”. Imagine snapping your Xmas photos on your Dad’s paint-splattered Nokia 3310 and you will be reminded of just how different they are.

The good news is that, unlike the Dodo, technology speeds up the evolution of industries faster than a Dodo can outrun its hunter. Had the Dodo been able to evolve quick enough to be able to fly, we might still see them today. Missing today’s opportunities to harness new technology could leave you at the mercy of natural selection.

Like the leap from the old brick-like Nokia to the sleek and sexy iPhone X, advancements in audiometric technology provide more in the way of opportunities. Mobile audiology brings improved service offering while meeting the demand for quality and reliability. Two features every audiometer worth its salt must offer.

With all this on offer, there truly is no time like the present to get “on your bike” and get mobile.

Here are some reasons why.

It’s about the money, honey.

Money, for me at least, is not the motivation I need to get out of bed every morning, but it is the lifeblood of any business. Without it, no amount of passion for helping people will keep you afloat.

If you have more patients than you can handle and thus more than enough money, you can skip this part and congratulate yourself, you’re part of a very rare breed.

If you are like most audiologists and most other people on earth for that matter, you are concerned with every little change in the market and how it will affect your bottom line.

Some of you might even be considering a career change.

My advice; hold on tight, it gets better from here.

To grow or sustain any business you need to create a steady flow of income and that means new patients, all the time:

  1. You could add another branch but the expense of setting up a traditional practice is as scary as it’s running costs. If you plan to reach new audiences extra bricks and mortar, you had better prepare for a long and expensive ride.
  2. You could invest in a mobile sound booth, you know, the truck and trailer kind? Also, not a cheap option. If you are anything like me, you will agree that parallel parking is hard enough without a big box of “attenuation” trailing behind you.
  3. Offer a service that matches your audience needs. You might believe that your customers need hearing aids. In truth, what they need is to hear better and for that to happen, they need to have access to your services. But access is not enough, convenience is also key.

I might be biased, but my marketing brain says my money is on option 3 all the way. Successful businesses thrive because they meet the needs of consumers in a relevant and impactful way.

The good news is that there is new technology for that, and it comes in a little black carry case. It works as well as traditional technology but doesn’t need a sound booth, is more attractive than the horse and cart option, and comes at a fraction of the cost.

Jump in your car or take the scenic route in an Uber, or if you have a view of Table Mountain and a penchant for exercise, you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two.

So now you can access more patients and provide more convenient services in more places at a fraction of the cost.

It’s about time.

Consultation takes time, travel takes time, and if your waiting room is filled with screening candidates, you can spend all or most of your time on patients you won’t be able to treat. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” So isn’t it about time that changed?

Patient consultation is an art requiring patience, empathy and people skills matched with insight. Hearing testing is a science backed by data and requires unflinching accuracy.

2 guesses which of these translates best for humans.

Technology can’t provide the art but it can relieve a lot of the cerebral load, save you time and provide pinpoint accuracy.

Assistive Interpretation of audiograms opens up a world of possibilities for audiologists. At a touch of a button, you can get a suggested interpretation based on multiple standards to give you an accurate and encompassing view.

You could memorise every available standard and calculate every datapoint yourself but it is likely not on your priority list. What you want is actionable data.

And why should you? After all, we have the technology. Isn’t it time we used it?

With automated testing and Assistive Interpretation you could employ facilitators to handle your testing, and refer treatment ready patients to you. Allowing you to focus your time on what you do best and what brings in the bacon.

Work while you work

Adding mobile testing into the mix means that you’ll be able to access a wider patient base by reaching out to schools, retirement homes, industry, corporate wellness and in-hospital patients.

This will keep you busy, but what about turning up the volume of referrals?

Not just any referrals, we are after quality, not quantity. A waiting room full of patients who need hearing aids is more valuable than one full of patients that still need to be screened.

Referrals are a fantastic source of business and by tapping into this flow of patients can pay out big time.

Why not increase your referral network by providing other healthcare professionals with the equipment to generate referrals?

Imagine enabling a GP to perform hearing tests in their practice and referring patients who need your specific services to you. They perform automated testing in their practice while gathering useful patient data. They also benefit from the fee (depending on local legislation) for routine testing, perhaps once a year. If a patient requires your specific treatment the patient is then referred to you for assessment and fitting.

This creates an accessible model for early intervention and treatment while boosting your referral funnel. All without impacting on your own time. It’s a win for the Doctor, a win for the patient and a win for you.

Time to pay the bills.

Besides being completely

portable, KUDUwave™ audiometers offer booth free testing, bone conduction, air conduction, speech audiometry, automated and manual features, assistive interpretation tele-audiology, and more. Contact us to find out more about how the KUDUwave™ helps you to provide access to care for more patients, anywhere. 

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