Rest assured Tauranga MP Simon Bridges is hearing the concerns of locals, loud and clear.
TeleAudiology is a world first in audiology, connecting audiology specialists with clients using advanced communications technology.
The MP was the first to experience the new audiology system which launched today at the Tauranga Triton Hearing Clinic.
His test results revealed normal hearing in both his ears.
Triton managing director James Whittaker says the new technology eliminates some of the key barriers with patients requiring audiology care.
“What we wanted to do was become the hearing provider of choice in New Zealand,” says James.
“One of the things we have a really have a challenge about in growing is that there is a shortage of audiologists in New Zealand but one in six kiwis have a hearing loss – a lot of those people can't get access to services”
He says the need came as a result of shortage in access to specialists.
“With Triton Hearing Teleaudiology, the challenge of distance is eliminated. Communication technology enables remote consultations and the delivery of audiological services even if the client and audiologist are hundreds of kilometres apart.”
The system has already been in operation in the company's Remuera and Timaru clinics since April this year.
“What we're trying to do is take audiology to you, rather than you having to come to us.”
“From our perspective it's all about getting access to services for Kiwis,” he says.
Triton Hearing clinical development manager Craig Lett has worked on the project for 18 months. He says the system was developed to maintain a personal feel.
“Hearing loss is very personal,” he says. “The way we experience problems is very different from person to person it affects the way we communicate, affects our social interactions and overall quality of life.”
“So we wanted to find a way of maintaining those personal interactions when you're not in the room with someone and bring together the different technologies,” says Craig.
“It needs to be something that's easy to experience – something where you could just walk into a room and it feels like a normal interaction.”
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says he is excited about the new technology.
“This is definitely the future of core services that we'll need to provide to people in health and other areas,” he says.
“Obviously what else is incredibly important about it as well is the help it will give people who have hearing loss which will have a big impact on the quality of life, and social lives and live a full life – so it's great to see and really exciting to be a part of it.”
Watch the video below to see how the system works.
The new communication technology enables remote consultations. Photo: Sam Gardner