Audiology – Patient Research
Patient research update from the last 3 months.
My research with UK & Ireland patients this quarter suggests that post covid, hearing aid patients now have even more specific goals and expectations. Here are my key findings below, ranked by them in order of importance. You know all this inside out but it’s interesting to keep on top of their mindsets and behaviours overall, in their words.
Improved Hearing Abilities
Unsurprisingly, the primary goal of the interviewed patients, seeking hearing aids is to improve their overall hearing abilities. They want to be able to hear clearly in both quiet and noisy environments, engage in conversations without difficulty, and regain the ability to enjoy various social activities (as expected).
So that they can have a…
Better Quality of Life
Patients commented that they aim to reduce the impact of hearing loss on their relationships, work, and daily activities. By improving their hearing abilities, they hope to participate more actively in social interactions, feel included in conversations, and avoid feelings of isolation or withdrawal caused by untreated hearing loss.
Which gives them…
Effective communication is a major focus for these people seeking help for hearing aids privately (mix of patients who had never had hearing aids and ones who had experience of them). They desire improved speech understanding, especially in challenging listening situations like group discussions or crowded environments. Clear communication with family members, friends, colleagues, and healthcare professionals is important for them. It was interesting that some said that they didn’t want to struggle in a healthcare environment – that hearing any form of feedback from a professional was of high importance.
Then they wanted something unique to them…
Patients said that they expect highly personalised solutions for their unique hearing difficulties and lifestyle requirements. This hasn’t been a priority in previous research. They want access to a wide range of advanced hearing aid technologies that can be tailored to suit their specific needs (e.g., discreet design options, connectivity features with smartphones or TVs). We advertise and lead with this in terms of manufacturer content but it’s not to be underestimated still. They commented on a ‘fear’ of having something off the shelf that wasn’t ‘really for them’.
Professional Expertise and Service
The trust and respect for you as professionals is still very high. They trust professionals who can conduct thorough evaluations, provide accurate diagnoses, recommend suitable devices based on individual needs and preferences AND offer ongoing care such as follow-up appointments, adjustments or maintenance services. Ongoing care is becoming more important it seems.
Convenience and Timely Assistance
They want everything at their fingertips but also appreciate that for the expertise, they may have to wait. They were more demanding with high street providers but for ‘the real deal’ (patient words not mine), they were willing to wait up to 14 days to be seen by the same professional. They appreciate flexible appointment scheduling options that fit around their personal commitments. They are also interested in a smooth process of hearing aid fitting and ongoing support services with relatively shorter waiting periods.
These insights emphasise the importance of still delivering personalised, effective solutions, providing exceptional customer service and prioritising improved communication abilities and overall quality of life. We know it all, right, but still good to confirm and validate Contact me here