Meet the Phonak Expert Circle on eAudiology
Back row, Left to Right: Joseph Montano, William Campbell, Christopher Spankovich, Melanie Ferguson, Marike Carstens
Front row, Left to Right: Nicole Klutz, Danielle Glista, Ora Buerkli, Tania Rodrigues, Evelyn Davies-Venn, Rachel Higginbotham, Karen Muñoz, Gina Angley, Christine Jones
Other members: see list below
Phonak is leading the eAudiology initiative by regularly convening a group of experts to collaborate on this topic. This group is collectively mapping out future directions and ways to best support hearing care professionals (HCPs) in their adoption of this delivery model.
There are various reasons which prevent HCPs from adopting digital solutions within their daily practice, and this panel of early adopters have valuable insights to share helping to answer questions and alleviate fears. The collaboration between Phonak and this panel of experts will see more activities and resources rolled out over the next years.
Barbra Timmer, PhD, MBA
Barbra Timmer, PhD, MBA, is Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia and Senior Scientist for Sonova AG. Prior to starting her academic career, Barbra Timmer worked in clinical audiology and gained hearing care industry experience abroad. Her current research interests include the real-world challenges and audiological outcomes for adults with hearing impairment, the implementation of Family-Centred Care in audiological practice, vestibular function in older adults with hearing impairment and mHealth/eAudiology.
“Smartphones and apps can be effective mHealth tools in obtaining real-world insight into hearing challenges and the benefit of intervention solutions.”
Christine Jones, Au.D.
Christine Jones, AuD, is currently Vice President of Audiology at Phonak US. Prior to this role, she was Director of Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) and ran pediatric clinical research in PARC. Christine received her Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and Doctoral degree from Central Michigan University.
“eAudiology offers tremendous practice opportunities and the time to embrace this potential is now!”
Prof. De Wet Swanepoel
Prof. De Wet Swanepoel is professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria (South Africa). His research capitalises on the growth in information and communication technologies with focus on innovative service delivery models and applied solutions to improve access to early development and health services. Prof. Swanepoel serves as president of the International Society of Audiology. He is also a member of the Phonak Pediatric Advisory Board and an invited member of the International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology (ICRA).
“Incorporating eAudiology by hearing care professionals requires an evaluation of the areas of the patient journey where you want to employ eAudiology, an assessment and reconsideration of current practices within a connected health and a person-centered framework, as well as the development and integration of a comprehensive digital health strategy.”
Danielle Glista, PhD
Danielle Glista is an Assistant Professor at Western University’s National Centre for Audiology in London, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Glista's research interests include hearing aid fitting and verification strategies, advanced hearing aid technologies and aided outcome measurement for children and adults with hearing loss. Dr. Glista’s recent research efforts have focused on factors influencing the clinical implementation of tele-audiology services including remote hearing aid fitting technology.
“Tele-audiology has the potential to enhance current practices and facilitates patient centered-care”
Evelyn Davies-Venn, Ph.D.
Dr. Davies-Venn is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota and teaches courses in hearing science, amplification and diagnostic audiology. She is also the Director of the Sensory Aids and Perception Lab. Her research program is centered on understanding factors that drive individual variance in rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with hearing loss, especially in complex listening environments such as a busy restaurant or cocktail party. Her research aims to improve access to hearing health care and to optimize amplification outcomes for individuals with hearing loss.
François Julita’s professional life is mainly driven by new digital technologies. As a “child” of the early dot-com era he witnessed the growth of the internet, it’s hype and the transition to maturity. He has extensive experience in Digital Strategy, eHealth, Software Development and Mobile Solutions and was responsible for many Digital Projects for Fortune 500 companies over the past 15 years. He received his Master in Science at Zurich University of Technology (ETH) and holds a postgraduate degree in Master of Business Engineering.
“Audiologists, with their technical knowledge, are well-positioned to be leaders in the area of eHealth”
Dr. Gina Angley
Gina Angley, Au.D., is the Associate Director of the Adult Amplification Program within the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She specializes in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of adults with hearing loss, and served as the Clinical Trials Coordinator for five years. Dr. Angley is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association, through which she maintains her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A).
"When incorporating eAudiology into your practice, be open-minded and think creatively in your daily workflow and the way you address patient concerns. Practice interacting with someone using a web camera. Review your individual and surrounding state laws regarding telehealth services."
Dr. Gurjit Singh
Dr. Gurjit Singh is a Senior Research Audiologist at Sonova Holding AG, an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University. In addition to being a clinical audiologist, Gurjit Singh completed his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Toronto and a Masters in Social Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Gurjit Singh’s research interests include teleaudiology, factors that contribute to speech understanding in noise, emotion and clinical decision-making.
“When it comes to eAudiology, hearing care professionals should consider three things: the technological feasibility within the office, the attitudes of key stakeholders and the perceived utility of teleaudiology in the practice setting.”
Jean Anne Schnittker, Au.D.
Jean Anne Schnittker began working at Phonak US in 2005 and moved to Switzerland in 2011 to work at Sonova as a research audiologist in the Science & Technology team. Her focus is researching various eAudiology applications, with a special emphasis on remote fitting. She is also a member of the Sonova Hear the World Board. Jean Anne holds a Master of Science in Audiology from Purdue University (2003), and a Doctor of Audiology from University of Florida (2008).
“When incorporating eAudiology, consider technological infrastructure, data security, and the impact on clinician & client workflow”
Joseph Montano, EdD
Dr. Joseph Montano is an Associate Professor of Audiology in Clinical Otolaryngology and Director of Hearing and Speech at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital. He currently serves as the Vice President of Standard and Ethics in Audiology for ASHA. Dr. Montano is an Adjunct Professor of Audiology for City University of New York and Montclair State University and currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation (HRF) and Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (HEAR).
“Make eAudiology fun! Have your professional and clerical staff be part of the plan. Buy-in from all parties is important. Make sure you have the proper technology and bandwidth. Have a test run before introducing it to your patients and invite family members into the eAudiology experience."
Karen Muñoz, Ed.D., CCC-A
Karen Muñoz, EdD., CCC-A, is a Professor of Audiology and the Interim Department Head in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University. She worked as a clinical audiologist and provided clinical supervision for audiology graduate students for seventeen years before beginning her academic career in 2007. She conducts research related to patient and Family-Centered Care and understanding parent and professional factors that facilitate/interfere with outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing learning to communicate using spoken language.
“eAudiology expands patient options for accessing services, and this can enhance patient satisfaction. It offers a way to address patient challenges in a timely manner, critical for overcoming barriers and improving patient outcomes.”
Dr. Melanie Ferguson
Dr. Melanie Ferguson is a Consultant Clinical Scientist (audiology) and Associate Professor in Hearing Sciences at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, UK. Her research focuses on e-health and self-management, listening and cognition and listening devices. She is currently the vice chair for BSA, immediate past chair of the BSA Adult Rehabilitation Interest Group, immediate past chair of the BAA Higher Training committee, member of the AAA Strategic Documents committee, associate editor for the IJA, and is a full member of the NICE Guidelines Committee for Hearing Loss.
“eAudiology provides a toolkit for audiologists to supplement and enhance patient-centered care. It has potential to increase accessibility and convenience, and enable greater patient engagement, self-management and empowerment. In a world where hearing healthcare often struggles to meet end-users’ needs, eAudiology offers new options for hearing healthcare professionals to explore and embrace.”
Rachel Higginbotham, Au.D.
Rachel Higginbotham is a Clinical Audiologist at Estes Audiology Hearing Centers in Central Texas. She loves ears and is passionate about better hearing. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus in adults. Her goal is to improve the enjoyment of life by working with patients and loved ones to find hearing solutions. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Higginbotham earned her Doctor of Audiology from The University of Texas at Dallas and her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Austin.
“Hearing care professionals should consider personal motivation, patient motivation, and utility of assistants when incorporating eAudiology”
William Campbell, MCISc
With 20 years as a clinician, Bill Campbell has a wealth of knowledge and experience with adult and pediatric service delivery. Bill Campbell’s interest in eAudiology began in 2006 in trying to provide access to infant diagnostic services in remote Canadian communities. Since then, Bill Campbell has been involved in developing a remote assessment protocol for the Ontario Infant Hearing Program, as well as working with colleagues internationally to develop eAudiology solutions.
”The top three things hearing care professionals should consider when incorporating eAudiology are: What are your reasons for using eAudiology? Do you have the resources in place for implementation? Do you have a plan ready prior to implementation?”