Implications and attitudes of audiologists towards smartphone integration in hearing healthcare

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In a relatively short period of time, modern societies have been transformed by the ubiquitous uptake of advanced and portable mobile communication, computation, and sensors available on smartphones. Looking forward, it is anticipated that smartphones will have an increasingly important role in health management including the delivery of hearing healthcare and operation of hearing instruments. Objective: This paper provides a brief overview of the role of smartphones in audiologic rehabilitation and hearing research and reports on the findings of a survey assessing attitudes of audiologists towards smartphone integration in hearing healthcare. Design: A total of 258 audiologists working in the United States completed the 10-item survey. Results: The key finding from the survey is that practitioners generally expressed a high willingness to integrate smartphone technology in patient care. Counterintuitively, it was observed that clinicians with the least number of years of experience had relatively more negative attitudes toward smartphone integration in hearing healthcare than clinicians with comparatively more years of experience. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the attitudes of audiologists likely do not represent a barrier regarding smartphone integration in audiologic rehabilitation.HighlightsAudiologists are generally open to the use of smartphone connectivity as a new element of hearing care provision.Seasoned audiologists were more apt to embrace the use of smartphones to aid in patient communication and device adjustment.Smartphones could play a key role in audiologic rehabilitation.Many smartphone apps already exist for audiological purposes and many more are possible.

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