Doris Vercelli answers the questions of experts and parents in the seminar on Remote Fitting and Rehabilitation 26.05.2013

[Oksana Gunko-Kherson] How often should a new device be provided? Our experts think it is once every 5 years. Is this obligatory if the device is working?
It all depends on whether hearing aids are worn every day. If yes, then after 5 years of daily wear some elements are so depreciated that the HA should be replaced on purely physical grounds. But it’s a different story if the HA is worn only occasionally.
In Germany medical insurarance covers not only replacement of a HA (once in 6 years), but also upgrade to the speech processor once every 5 years.

[Liubov_Osnabrück] Who makes certain that implanted children do get further fittings and upgrades, if necessary? Should the parents or caregivers be responsible, or is this monitored by the centers who conducted the post-operative fitting, and now send notifications to parents?
It is a shared responsibility of the parents and the centers. The bulk of it falls to the parents, but often they don’t trust themselves to do it and ask the centers to send reminders.

Question about a patient (example No. 1 in the slides)
[Monika LehnhardtAuggen] Why was the patient refused in two other CI centers?
She was refused a cochlear implant in two other centers because her speech intelligibility and hearing were considered too good. Speech discernment with HA was at around 50%.

[Jana Frey_Berlin] Does that mean that 50% is not enough for a phone conversation?
50% of speech intelligibility meant that the patient was able to hear with her HA what was said by someone sitting in front of her in relatively quiet surroundings. However, in case of phone conversations it was practically impossible to make out what was being said; in noise it was impossible altogether.
50% of speech intelligibility don’t always mean inability to talk over the phone,  but this was the case for the patient we discuss.

[Oksana Gunko-Kherson] Do you have cooperation with Ukrainian hearing centers? Do you know of their methods of post-CI rehabilitation?
No; unfortunately, we don’t have such experience as of yet. We will be glad if that can change.

[Jana Frey_Berlin] Do you think the Hannover experts make time savings when doing the fittings remotely?
Yes, the economy is significant. A physical meeting in Hannover takes up one hour; remote sessions last only 20 minutes, because greetings, technical checks, conclusion and questions from the patient are not included.

[Nikiforov Konstantin] Which software is used for remote fittings? In Michelin in Belgium they recommended that we use TeamViewer.
The manufacturer would be AURIC. However, the product is not TeamViewer but proprietary software. We think that the software should be custom-made.

[Lilit Abrahamyan – Yerevan] Anush from Yerevan is asking who does the fitting, and what the costs are.
A subsequent fitting costs around 200 euros. The first fitting is more expensive, but the fact is, we don’t know just how much it is. It is included into the mutual balance or cooperation between clinics and the ‘Krankenkassen’.

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