In Northern Sweden, there are about 170 adults with cochlear implant, CI. A cochlear implant is a high-tech tool that can restore hearing to deaf and severely hearing impaired. The implant, which consists of both implanted and external components, is inserted and tested at Nus for all adult patients in northern Sweden whereas children are treated at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. After surgery, testing and adjustment of the tool is performed iteratively by local engineers and may result in up to ten patient visits during the first year after insertion. Since some time back, patients from Sunderby hospital is offered adjustment remotely. The patient and engineer connect using videoconferencing and the patient's implants are connected via an interface box to a computer that can be remotely controlled by the engineer to make the adjustment. This approach allows patients to have their aids adjusted at their local hospital leading to lower costs and environmental impact through reduced travel for patients and hearing engineers, who previously executed some of their work locally at Sunderby hospital. The approach can be extended to other hospitals in the region but also to the Karolinska University Hospital concerning children with CI.
This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.