Every now and then I like to search for recent world news related to hearing and this week I came across an article I thought I would share with you all. Doctors in Colorado have teamed up with doctors in Guam to test infants who do not pass their newborn hearing screening for potential hearing loss. The doctors in Guam prepare the parent and infant for testing, while the doctors in Colorado remotely operate the diagnostic audiological equipment. The process can take up to two hours and requires the infant be asleep the entire time, but at the end of the testing the parents will know if the infant has hearing loss or not.
These services are filling a niche that was lacking in Guam. By catching hearing loss at 3 months, they can receive the necessary treatment by 6 months of age. This early detection can allow the infant to develop speech and language at a normal pace, leading to success in school and the rest of their lives. By remotely connecting from Colorado, families also are not required to leave the island to get their hearing diagnostic evaluations. This is a huge step forward in the use of state-of-the-art technology to help support a community in need.
I find it exciting that technology is now advanced to the point that the doctors don’t even have to be in the same country to make an accurate diagnosis! What do you think about this new development? Could this technology be used to help other communities in need of this type of service?