One in six Australians is affected by hearing loss, and that figure rises to 70 per cent for older people.
“The prospect of using modern technology can be daunting to some, but the internet, mobile phones and tablets have the potential to provide individualised healthcare,” Dr Meyer said.
“We are trying to find out how adults with hearing loss currently use telecommunications to support their general health and whether there are avenues to improve that.
“The study will look at all aspects of e-health and the use of technologies such as phones, email, internet, apps and videoconferencing.
“Ultimately the aim is to reduce the impact of hearing loss on individuals, their family and friends.”
UQ researchers are working in collaboration with the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre on the project.
The centre brings 21 Australian hearing healthcare organisations together for the first time.
Research by Dr Meyer and colleagues has found gaps in current practice could be addressed through modern technologies.
For example, technologies could be used to connect with family members during hearing rehabilitation.
“With increasing noise levels in everyday life, and an ageing population, the number of individuals with hearing loss is only expected to rise.
“Looking at new ways of addressing the hearing and communication needs of the community has to be prioritised.”
The researchers are recruiting volunteers with hearing loss or who have an adult family member or friend with hearing loss to participate in the study.
Volunteers will be asked to complete a survey about their experiences with telecommunication technologies in healthcare and to provide ideas and feedback about areas of opportunity.
Tasks can be done at a time and place suited to the volunteer and all participants will be in a draw to win a $100 gift card.