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Siemens is optimizing partnerships with hearing aid acousticians

New partner program to improve workflow from hearing test through ordering to fitting Siemens will be introducing the company's new partnership program for improving workflow to acousticians for the first time at the annual conference of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) taking place in Dallas, Texas, from April 1 through 4, 2009. The program includes new hardware and software, and covers the complete workflow. It optimizes the various test and fitting stages involving the acoustician and the customer and also communications and order processing between the acoustician and Siemens. The new workflow partnership program has been designed for seamless integration into the existing infrastructure of virtually all hearing aid acousticians.

Acousticians are faced with major challenges in dealing with the wide variety of possible customization and adjustment options offered by modern hearing systems. They start with choosing from the available hearing systems, which should be customized as much as possible to meet individual customer requirements, and end with fitting them.

The new Siemens partner program covers the complete chain from the patient’s initial visit to the acoustician and the determination of the concrete requirements through all the ordering and production processes to the successful adjustment of the new hearing instrument.

At the first hearing test the acoustician determines whether the patient has a hearing impairment. The new hardware makes the initial diagnosis extremely fast. Hearing loss can be categorized in only 30 seconds per ear. In the next step the extent of the hearing loss is analyzed more closely. The Siemens Unity System allows all the test data to be recorded and analyzed on computer with just a few clicks of the mouse. In this way, the type and extent of the hearing loss along with its effects can be determined and stored individually in the measuring system.

The software then uses the data to recommend the potential hearing instrument solutions. At the same time the ‘profiler’ guides the acoustician through a catalog of questions that allows the customer’s individual requirements to be determined. They include consideration of the customer’s lifestyle as well as social factors and price range. The result is that the recommended hearing instrument is matched exactly to the customer’s personal requirements.

The iScan tool then prepares a three-dimensional image of the ear canal. To obtain this, the acoustician places the ear impression in the special scanner, which records all relevant data and e-mails them straight to Siemens. The process of ordering the required equipment for the hearing instrument system has now also been fully automated. The acoustician can place orders online at any time of day or night, track the status of the order and at the same time receive all information on availability and delivery times.

The partnership program also includes the interactive eARena computerized training system for additional customer support. It is used to help wearers to become accustomed to their new hearing system. The eARena DVD has 20 training units of about 30 minutes each. The training units can be completed at the acoustician’s premises and also on a home computer.
The new Siemens Workflow partnership program will be rolled out worldwide in the next few months.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Healthcare is the first integrated healthcare company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy, and healthcare information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services. Siemens Healthcare delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care – from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. Additionally, Siemens Healthcare is the global market leader in innovative hearing instruments. The company employs around 49,000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. In the fiscal year 2008 (Sept. 30), Siemens Healthcare reported sales of €11.2 billion, orders of €11.8 billion, and Sector profit of €1.2 billion. Further information can be found by visiting http://www.siemens.com/healthcare.

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