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January 10, 2019

Management of Hearing Loss Through Telemedicine

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington
  • 2Kentucky TeleCare, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online January 10, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.3885

Hearing loss affects more than 466 million people worldwide and has become a major public health and economic problem.1 The negative effect of untreated hearing loss on communication, education, and employment is profound and leads to an annual economic burden of disease of more than $750 billion.1 The effective and efficient treatment of hearing loss is complicated by a global disparity in hearing health care professionals (eg, audiologists; ear, throat, and nose specialists), especially in rural regions of high-income countries and throughout low-income countries.2 Changes in policy related to hearing health care have mandated improved access to care, enhanced quality of care, and focus on value in health care. Shifting practice patterns are influencing how and where hearing health care is delivered. Telemedicine, which is defined as the use of communications technology to get the right care to the right people at the right time in the right place for the right price, has great potential to meet the demand and improve delivery of hearing health care.

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