Get involved Tinnitus Week 2021 Lenire A blog from Tinnitus Week sponsor, Lenire Telemedicine: A game-changer for tinnitus patients in the Covid age The broad field of medicine has rarely been slow to trial and adopt emerging technology. How else can we explain how medicine has advanced human health for hundreds of years? What happens when technological change is forced upon us? The Covid-19 pandemic has been a game-changer for telemedicine, speeding up its acceptance as a method of patient care worldwide. How is this beneficial to tinnitus patients? Telemedicine is the practice of healthcare professionals caring for patients remotely using technology via a laptop, tablet or mobile device. It is not exactly a brand-new practice. Video consultations have helped doctors connect with people in rural or remote locations for years. Since March 2020 it has become more mainstream, if not a necessity for the provision of healthcare. Telemedicine is here to stay even after the pandemic is over and this is good news for tinnitus patients. Let’s look at three key reasons why: Increased access to specialist healthcare A world where telemedicine is the norm would make it easier for tinnitus sufferers to seek remote appointments with Audiologists or tinnitus specialists with a few clicks. This is convenient for both the Audiologist and for the patient. A patient does not have to leave their home, drive to a clinical site, seek or pay for transport, or even spend time in a waiting room. All he or she needs is an internet connection in the comfort of their own home, all while avoiding the need to take time off work. Likewise, this is also convenient for Audiologists as they aren’t as widely available as, say, GPs. Their time is a scarce commodity and this can lead to long waiting lists. Telemedicine reduces such waiting lists as it makes it more likely the patient and audiologist can find a common time for a virtual appointment. This allows audiologists to see more patients overall and see them sooner. Early intervention As a result of better access to tinnitus healthcare, we believe this may lead to diagnosing tinnitus patients a lot earlier, which can have better treatment outcomes. Diagnosing tinnitus early in patients is important as it may be an indicator of other aural issues such as Meniere's disease or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders. Early interventions will be a big benefit to tinnitus patients when the world reaches the other side of the pandemic. Staying safe While most of us await COVID vaccinations, it is imperative that we follow the public health advice and minimise our contacts. It is in everyone’s best interests to avoid group gatherings in enclosed areas such as clinics or doctor’s waiting rooms, which tend to be busy due to their nature. Telemedicine can almost negate COVID infection to tinnitus sufferers during their assessment process, which is an obvious benefit to the patient as well as to healthcare providers! Lenire is available through Neuromod Medical based in Dublin, Ireland. It offers patients the chance to book their own remote video appointment at a date and time which suits them. Learn more at www.neuromodmedical.com.