by Scott Peterson, V.P. of New Product Development
Back in 2014, Tele-Health arrived as a discussion topic in the hearing care industry.
How did tele-health apply to audiology? What patient cases should be covered and which technologies should be applied?
Prophesies and predictions were many.
However, the one thing everyone agreed on was that tele-health would require a secure and stable Internet connection between the audiologist and the patient.
Noah Mobile Technology Arrives
Based on these early tele-health discussions, in 2015 HIMSA implemented a secure, flexible and stable foundation for implementing future tele-health solutions in the Noah framework – Noah Mobile technology.
With Noah Mobile technology, mobile apps from HIMSA and HIMSA member companies could easily interact with Noah, just like Windows-based Noah modules do. This means that hearing care professionals are able to perform Noah-related tasks in web-browsers or on mobile devices such as Android tablets and iPads.
When Noah Mobile technology was first developed, it was uncertain which tele-health solutions would come to market. Therefore flexibility was paramount, allowing HIMSA member companies to implement a wide variety of apps and functionality for remote integration with Noah.
Four years later
Audiological equipment manufacturers were the first HIMSA members to take the leap with Noah Mobile.
Using Noah Mobile technology, professionals can now take measurement devices on the road, and send results back to the Noah database in the office. Hearing kiosks have also benefited from Noah Mobile, allowing professionals to reach potential patients at public locations such as schools, hospitals and shopping centers and send relevant data back to Noah.
Manufacturers of patient management solutions have also taken advantage of Noah Mobile technology, allowing easy and secure communication of data with their centralized databases.
For a list of certified Noah Mobile apps, click here.
Imagine that your patient is at a restaurant when they notice that their hearing aids are not functioning as expected. They open their manufacturer app and send feedback. The next morning when you arrive at work, you can see their request in Noah and act on it if necessary.
The Noah Alert Dashboard is a new feature planned for release this year.
Using Noah Mobile Technology, the alert dashboard will allow all HI manufacturers to forward important patient requests directly to the audiologist in Noah. Necessary fitting adjustments could then be made remotely, avoiding the need for a new patient appointment and improving customer satisfaction.
HIMSA expects the first instrument manufacturers to begin supporting the alert dashboard by the end of 2019.
Questionnaires in an App!
One pet project at HIMSA is an IPad app version of the Noah Questionnaire Module.
With a Questionnaire app on an iPad, patients can easily fill out an IOI-HA or APHAB questionnaire as they wait for their appointment. And using Noah Mobile technology, the results will be securely added to your Noah database over your local network.
The Questionnaire App is not a high priority project. However, we still hope to get a beta version ready by the end of the year, for all of NUG (Noah User Group) members who are interested in trying it out.
Longer Term Applications?
As in 2014, tele-health prophesies and predications continue to be many. Industry requirements are constantly changing and so are the needs of our member companies.
However, one thing we do know.
No matter what comes along, we are confident that Noah Mobile can continue to provide a secure, flexible and stable foundation to handle new tele-health applications for years to come.