Can Starkey’s SoundPoint be used when fitting Xino Tinnitus?
Yes, it can. Although there are many specific treatment approaches for tinnitus, we do recognize that there are lots of professionals who are not intimately familiar with these approaches, and they may not treat tinnitus patients every day. We wanted a tool to assist the professional in the fitting process. Also, we see the advantage of involving patients in the fitting process and allowing them to take ownership of their tinnitus and of the sound therapy process by contributing to the fitting of Multiflex Tinnitus Technology.
SoundPoint is an interface that is integrated into our fitting software. It allows the patient to explore various settings for the shape of the noise generated by Multiflex Tinnitus Technology. The patient listens to the devices and makes adjustments in real time as they move their mouse around the screen or move their finger around on an iPad screen. It allows them to actively participate and listen to a wide variety of settings - certainly more settings than a professional would be able to program for a patient. The patient can then make a selection based on his or her experience listening to the signal generated by the hearing aids or device.
SoundPoint patient navigation screen.
It’s a great way to get the tinnitus patient involved in the fitting. These patients often have a hard time describing what their tinnitus sounds like or what they experience. Rather than introducing guesswork and trying to translate what the patient is trying to communicate, SoundPoint allows the patient to experience it instead. There was a recent study that found that patients have difficulty describing their tinnitus (Eggermont, 2012). We can take away some of that difficulty and simply give them an interface that allows them to listen and determine which settings are most comfortable and provide relief.
Eggermont, J.J. (2012). Current issues in tinnitus. In K. Tremblay & R. Burkard (Eds.), Translational perspectives in auditory neuroscience (pp. 123-163). San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.