How does real ear measurement Automatic Target Match with Starkey work?
The REM Automatic Target Match is available within the new Inspire 2020.1 fitting software. Inspire will interact directly with your real ear measurement system and automatically adjust gain to hit the fitting formula target. It's a fast, easy, and simple way to incorporate real ear measurements that will free up your time, allowing you to focus on personalized adjustments and counseling.
The use of a probe mic or real ear measurement is the only way to confirm the appropriateness of hearing aid gain and resulting output across frequencies for a range of input levels at the tympanic membrane. Performing this verification during the initial fitting process helps ensure that the user's receiving the appropriate amount of amplification, not too much and not too little.
Despite the documented benefits of conducting real ear measurements during hearing aid fittings and best practice recommendations by several professional bodies, real ear measurements are one aspect of audiological service delivery that has not been consistently embraced as a part of the standard of care. Several surveys have shown that only approximately 30% of hearing health care professionals conduct real ear measures on a routine basis. As for the 70% who aren't, there are several reasons cited as to why not: cost, lack of time, not seeing a tangible benefit from performing real ear measurements and not fully understanding how to perform or interpret them. That being said, consumer surveys and accepted best practices tell us that using real ear is an important step for verifying hearing aid performance.
As we move into how REM Target Match works, let's review a couple of terms first:
- REUG (real ear unaided gain) as a measurement of the natural boost in the high frequencies, in the patient's open ear, without a hearing aid inserted into their ear. When we insert a hearing aid, it can take some of this away. So we wanna make sure we know what it is and can account for it in our final adjustments.
- REAR (real ear aided response) and is the response with the hearing aid in the ear and turned on. This response is mapped in dB SPL and is measuring the gain of the hearing aid across frequencies while inserted into the patient's ear.
REM Target Match is our exciting new feature for verifying hearing aid fittings, using real ear equipment and the Inspire software. It provides a streamlined process for automatically matching real ear targets to ensure the audibility of speech sounds and to provide a solid fitting foundation that can help improve patient outcomes. REM Target Match offers a fully integrated workflow through the REM Target Match tool, allows for simultaneous binaural real ear measurements, provides automatic target matching for both the e-STAT proprietary and standard generic prescriptive formulas, includes a live display of measurements relative to target and manual fine-tuning is available after measurements are made to further personalize a fitting.
It provides a variety of benefits to hearing care professionals. It allows you to match to target faster than matching to target manually. There's no need to control two systems. Again, it provides a fully integrated workflow within the Inspire software. Automatic target match reduces the variability of manually matching targets. Fewer patient follow-up visits are necessary when real ear measurements are used. The speed and efficiency gives you more time for counseling patients. And you can be assured that you are providing optimal hearing aid benefit for patients through the process of fitting verification.
You will need Noah 4, version 4.5.1 or higher, and the Inspire 2020.1 fitting software to use REM Target Match. Noah has an Application Programming Interface, or API, that allows real ear system software to interface directly with hearing aid fitting software. This is what allows Inspire to communicate with select real ear measurement systems. REM Target Match is currently compatible with the Otometrix Aurical FreeFit and MedRx Avant REM Speech+ real ear systems and coming soon, it will also be compatible with the Inventis Maestro Trumpet.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from Advancing the Leading Edge of Hearing Aid Fittings with Real Ear Measures. For more information, visit www.starkey.com or visit Starkey's Partner Page on AudiologyOnline.