DexBox Audiology Tool
Staff at Hearing Healthcare Centre are always looking to develop new methods of testing hearing, and innovative new ideas to help ensure that we continue to provide the best service. As a result of this continuing hard work, we are often able to bring exclusive services to our clients, that are not available from elsewhere! And today is no different! We are proud to announce a true world first…exclusively for the benefit of Hearing Healthcare Centre clients, we present, the DexBox™!!
What Is The DexBox™?
The Dexbox™ is the first invention of its kind, created and patented by Hearing Healthcare Centre. It has been designed and purpose-built to allow Audiologists and Hearing Care Professionals to assess a client’s dexterity, prior to prescribing a hearing aid, and can be used throughout the client journey to monitor any dexterity issues.
The design brief was clear; with a customer-base which can vary drastically in age, and hearing aid miniaturisation becoming the focus of many manufacturer’s efforts, client dexterity has become critically important. We needed a more scientific way to determine what style of hearing aid to prescribe.
Loss of dexterity can stem from a number of sources; from normal age-related loss of motor function, and degenerative health conditions (such as Parkinson’s Disease etc.), to simple eye-sight problems. Regardless of the cause, they all share a common symptom; a difficulty to manipulate small objects, and in particular, hearing aids.
After carrying out research and deciding on a brief, we began brainstorming ideas and solutions to the problem of how to assess dexterity. The current industry ‘norm’ is to enquire of the client “how is your dexterity?” Unless the client has prior hearing aid experience, they may not truly appreciate the small, often fiddly manipulations needed to look after hearing aids, and all-too-frequently respond “it‘s fine!” Being able to listen and interpret client needs is paramount to our success, but how a client ‘gets on’ with the hearing aid long-term, is just as important. Especially considering we offer a 5 Year Aftercare Plan. We need to make sure our clients can physically manage the demands of a mini device.
Creating The DexBox™
The DexBox™ has been designed to assess a client’s ability to perform routine hearing aid related tasks, such as; cleaning, maintaining, changing batteries, swapping wax traps and general operation of the hearing aids. We began work to create a tool, which could simulate all these different actions; hearing aids use 4 different sized batteries, and can have one of as many as 10 different wax filtration systems, and up to 5 different ways of clean the tubes and vents. We made the DexBox™ to have 3 working, moveable battery drawers; size 10, 13 and 312 – the 3 smallest hearing aid batteries available. Each drawer can be opened and closed as it would on a hearing aid.
To test dexterity, clients are asked to insert and remove the battery, which highlights any difficulties they might experience and may suggest the need for a rechargeable option. The DexBox™ also features all of the most common wax filtration systems currently used in hearing aids. All modern hearing aids are fitted with wax filters to ensure no dust, dirt or wax ingresses into the hearing aid. It is essential that clients are capable of changing these effectively. Using the DexBox™, clients are asked to remove and insert each filter to determine any problems. Fortunately, there are a number of different wax filter styles to choose from. A key part of some hearing aids is ventilation, in order to allow the ear to ‘breathe’. For this reason, many custom aids are made with vent holes. These do block with wax, and so need to be cleaned with a nylon cord. The DexBox™ has a vent hole to simulate the process of clearing out the wax.
By using the DexBox™, we can quickly and accurately assess the suitability of hearing aid components, prior to prescribing. This minimises the chance of an inaccurate recommendation being made, and maximises the chance of client satisfaction.