It seems like almost everything can be accomplished on the internet these days. We can order nearly anything online from grocery items to clothes or furniture and have it all delivered to our front door. And for entertainment we can have online video chats with friends and family or stream television programs and movies whenever we're ready to watch them. We're not tied to the programming schedule anymore and no more worrying about whether you've correctly set up the VCR to record your favorite program. That's a Video Cassette Recorder for all those who are too young to relate.
We've become so accustomed to the convenience of the internet that we expect everything to be possible online. Data shows that even clients that don't consider themselves to be proficient with technology are most likely using the internet. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) reported that in 2019, 53.6 % of the global population was using the internet. I know that I always check first to see if I can complete something online before going to the trouble of doing it in person. So why then, should a fine-tuning of your client's hearing aids not be possible online? I'm happy to announce that it is possible to perform a fine-tuning of your client's Bernafon hearing aids without them ever traveling to your office.
I'm happy to announce that it is possible to perform a fine-tuning of your client's Bernafon hearing aids without them ever traveling to your office.
Advantages for the hearing aid user
With the introduction of Remote Fitting, hearing aid users can now take part in follow-up visits without leaving their home. Or likewise, if they’re working, they can have an appointment from their workplace during a break. This new functionality will save a lot of time which would have been spent traveling and possibly waiting in the office. And for those that aren't as mobile or when restrictions such as those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic limit office visits, Remote Fitting removes the necessity of going to the office yet still makes it possible to assist clients.
Clients don't have to worry about the process becoming impersonal. We know that many of the clients have developed a nice relationship with you and that you would also miss the chance to see each other and catch up. Remote Fitting is performed live just like a video chat that some might have experienced with their family. So, your clients can still see you and ask how you're doing, just as you will surely be interested to make sure that the clients are also doing well.
But if clients are in a rush and haven't removed the curlers from their hair, they don’t need to worry. They can always decline to have the video and even the microphone activated during the appointment. You can also communicate with your clients by the chat function and have a typed conversation. This option is beneficial for those with stronger hearing losses that struggle to understand various forms of audio.
How to prepare for a Remote Fitting appointment
It's important that you are prepared to perform Remote Fitting appointments and that you can help prepare your clients. The first thing is to create an account by registering on the Bernafon Remote Fitting Administration Portal. To do this, contact the local customer support to receive an invitation to the Bernafon Remote Fitting Administration Portal. An email will arrive with instructions to finalize the account by creating a password.
Make sure that Remote Fitting is enabled by checking in Preferences under the Tools tab in the top left corner of the Oasisnxt screen. From Oasis, click on the camera icon to launch Remote Fitting. A box will pop up asking you to sign in. The system will prompt you for the client's email with whom you have an appointment. Enter the email address and then click connect on the icon that looks like a phone. It is in the same place at the top of the screen where you would normally click to connect with an Expresslink or Noahlink.
Once connected, make the changes in the fitting software as you normally would. Be certain that both hearing aids are communicating with the software by the green L and R (left and right) symbols in the picture in the upper right corner. Once the changes have been made and the client has approved them, click on Upload to transfer the changes to the hearing aids.
There are some requirements to keep in mind to ensure a smooth experience with Remote Fitting:
- Oasisnxt 20.2 and later version
- PC camera or external camera
- PC microphone and speaker or headset
- Stable internet connection with a minimum speed of 1/1 Mbit/s
Clients connect with a new app
The clients will probably wonder how Remote Fitting is possible. On their smartphone or tablet, users of this new feature will need to download an app which is different than the Bernafon EasyControl-A app that some of the clients might already use to control their hearing aids. The new one is called the Bernafon EasyControl Connect app. It allows for the communication between you and your clients and connects with the hearing aids in order to apply the fine-tuning changes that you will make from the office. Visit the Bernafon website to find details on downloading the app or you can help your clients download the app during one of their office visits. This will also give you an opportunity to discuss Remote Fitting with them and prepare them for this option the next time that they need a fine-tuning.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Measuring digital development facts and figures 2019. Geneva: International Telecommunication Union (ITU); 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/FactsFigures2019.pdf (accessed on 17 September 2020)