TeleMapping for the Mater Cochlear Implant Clinic a hurdle rather than a sprint to the finish line

Janeen Jardine1, Megan White2,

1 Mater Audiology Department , Mater Hospital Brisbane, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane , Qld 4101

2 Ambulatory Services Mater Health, ,Level 2 Aubigny Place , Raymond Terrace , South Brisbane Qld 4101

 

Cochlear implantation is well recognised as an effective management option for adults with severe-to-profound hearing loss. There are two established public adult cochlear implant (CI) services in Queensland, both operating from Brisbane. Adults from all regions of Queensland travel to Brisbane to undergo assessment, surgery, rehabilitation and life-long maintenance of their CI. The Mater Cochlear Implant Clinic is the only service to offer outreach services. Where possible a CI audiologist travels to regional communities to provide face-to-face post-operative care, however as the number of implantees in Queensland grows new models of service delivery need to be being considered.

With the emergence of Telehealth as an effective alternative to face-face services in Brisbane, we commenced on the road to offer this service to our growing number of outreach clients. TeleMapping is the use of telecommunication technology to remotely map the cochlear implant recipient and has been shown to be a safe, viable option for providing post-operative “mapping” services. This involves connecting the implantee’s CI device to a remotely located computer with an audiologist located in a main centre controlling the local computer through remote access software. The implantee and audiologist communicate via videoconferencing. The aim of the TeleMapping session (or Mapping session when done face-to-face) is to create and fine-tune an individualised implant program for the implantee. The audiologist does this by presenting different levels of electrical stimulation through the implant to the user who then reports back on the volume and quality of the sound perceived.

Rather than a smooth sprint to the establishment of a TeleMapping service there were many hurdles to jump and finally after 2 years we are able to start rolling out the service state-wide.

This presentation aims to show the challenges that were overcome to provide a TeleMapping service.