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Audiologist conduct remote hearing tests

(RxWiki News) With ever increasing advances in medical care technology, remote diagnosing certainly isn't unheard of. It's a much newer field when it comes to hearing screenings.

A pilot project enables Colorado-based audiologists to conduct diagnostic tests to check for hearing loss in infants residing in Guam.

"Get hearing exams regularly for children."

Dr. Debra Hayes and Dr. Susan Dreith of the Bill Daniels Center for Children's Hearing at Children's Hospital-Colorado, are spearheading the Teleaudiology Project in collaboration with the University of Guam CEDDERS Guam Early Hearing Detection and Intervention project.

Dr. Dreith and Dr. Ericka Schicke, also from Children's Hospital-Colorado, have become licensed to practice as audiologists in Guam as part of the project, which began in October.

Before the project was launched, newborn babies that failed a hearing screening had to travel off the island to receive a diagnostic hearing exam. The program ensures that infants who fail the initial hospital hearing test receive the more thorough exam within three months and can begin intervention services shortly afterward if needed.

The Diagnostic Audiological Evaluation takes about two hours to complete and the baby must be asleep during the remote audiological evaluation. Doctors in Colorado complete the exam after audiometrists in Guam prepare the baby and parent for testing. Following the evaluation, parents find out whether their infant has a hearing problem.

"This accomplishment under UOG/Guam CEDDERS is a major step forward in the use of technology to support our community.

Thanks to this partnership, babies on this island will get the needed pediatric audiological services from certified professionals, an area lacking on Guam," said Velma Sablan, associate professor at the University of Guam and an experienced professional in the field of early hearing detection and intervention.

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Review Date: 
October 31, 2011