I need to purchase a new tympanometer and it has been a few years since I have looked for one. What is new in the area of immittance testing and what should I look for when choosing an immittance testing solution?
Jeanette Fitzke: As far as immittance testing goes, there are no new tests and nothing has really changed in terms of testing over the past years – even Wideband is not yet recognized or widely used. However, there are improvements in the immittance testing process to make it more patient-focused and give more control to the clinicians. The ability to handle more patients requires an efficient workflow. One of the main disruptions in the testing process is the ability to get and keep a reliable seal. That is why a high-performing device and responsive probes can make a huge difference in helping you stay focused on your patients while streamlining the immittance testing process.
Diane Sabo: When you think about it, the probe is one of the most important parts of the immittance testing process. The probe is what the clinician holds in his or her hand – it is the clinician’s tool – almost an extension of their hand and it touches the patient. Therefore, it is very important that to be effective, an immittance probe must be comfortable to hold, lightweight and responsive. The design of the probe is related to its performance – if it is difficult to hold and use then chances are that the performance of the probe and outcome of the test will be poor. When you are looking for a new tympanometer be sure to check if the probe or probes are lightweight, ergonomic and easy to use. The new MADSEN® Zodiac is an especially appealing alternative to traditional tymps as it was designed with focus on the probes and the way clinicians work when performing immitance testing.
Dawn Violetto: From my perspective as a pediatric audiologist I need the device to be intuitive and fast. Having controls on the probe itself are useful so that the clinician doesn’t have to leave the child’s side or stretch to reach a button. In addition, when working with an infant’s ear, having a lightweight probe is especially important so that the probe is stable when in place and isn’t constantly falling out.
I was surprised just how easy it was to start using the new MADSEN® Zodiac. MADSEN Zodiac has three probes and each probe is designed for easier, faster and more stable placement. The diagnostic probes are exceptionally lightweight – and this ensures quicker sealing than regular, heavier probes. Light indicators tell you which ear you are testing and the status of the test. Audio feedback and the probe light indicators quickly alert you if you lose the seal. And the unique Dual Probe option enables you to keep the screening probe and the diagnostic probe connected at the same time. You can just grab the probe you need for a particular patient without interrupting your workflow. It has really made immittance testing easier for my staff and me.
You can read more about practical ways to boost control, efficiency, and confidence in Immittance Testing in our recent interview with Audiology Online.