AURICAL: Streamline Your Fitting Workflow
AudiologyOnline: Tell me about the latest developments with AURICAL®.
Mona Dworsack-Dodge: AURICAL is a complete, modular fitting solution by Otometrics that is powered by OTOsuite® software. The fitting module in OTOsuite integrates AURICAL into the entire clinical process from diagnostics and counseling to fitting and verification. The new enhancements are designed to help audiologists and hearing care professionals be more efficient, while at the same time enhancing quality of counseling and care.
Wendy Switalski: This release includes simple improvements and advanced features to benefit both new and existing AURICAL customers. The new features were developed to help professionals streamline fittings for a smoother workflow. New features include RoomTune™, QuickView™ and enhancements to probe microphone measurements (PMM).
RoomTune measures the acoustics of the room and speakers and adjusts the sound during playback for reliable hearing instrument demonstration in the fitting software. QuickView gives instant access to the video otoscope during probe microphone measures to aid in proper probe tube placement as well as easily check ear canal status. Additionally, an update in FreeStyle™ makes it possible to work with two simultaneous sound sources, chosen independently with a flexible signal-to-noise ratio, for a more realistic stimulus presentation.
AudiologyOnline: Does AURICAL support pediatric fitting?
Wendy Switalski: Yes. AURICAL and OTOsuite are very intuitive, and have flexible user test designs with predefined measurement sequences that allow you to customize your coupler-based fitting process. We include the latest versions of NAL-NL2 and DSL 5.0, and give you the option of adding your own protocols to the test library.
For the real ear portion of the process, AURICAL FreeFit™ enables you to measure RECD simultaneously for both ears. In addition, you can start the measurement of the ear response without having to be near the computer – just press a button on the wireless FreeFit to start the measurement. Simple things like the ability to copy a measured RECD to the opposite ear, or easy application of previously measured RECDs to a current session can mean huge time savings.
Mona: For measuring the coupler response, AURICAL HIT is easy to use. The OnePosition™ method makes it simple to place the hearing instrument correctly inside the chamber. The hearing instrument test (HIT) is a separate unit independent from other AURICAL components and powered from a USB connection, so it can be placed anywhere, even in offices with limited space.
In addition, the coupler values are stored in the AURICAL FreeFit probes so that the coupler portion of the RECD doesn’t have to be measured with every patient. In fact, the coupler doesn’t need to be present during the real ear portion. RECD measurements can then be easily used in coupler-based fitting. OTOsuite software allows you to apply essentially the same workflow within the software whether a fitting is being carried out on the ear or in the coupler. It is as simple as switching between real ear and coupler mode. OTOsuite handles all conversions and compensations necessary to ensure precision and accuracy.
Conducting dynamic coupler-based fitting, even for adult patients, can facilitate accurate pre-programming for hearing instruments, so that you have more time for counseling during the fitting session.
AudiologyOnline: More and more professionals are adding tinnitus management to their services. How does AURICAL support tinnitus assessment and management?
Wendy: With AURICAL, the tinnitus measurement data created using the tinnitus module in MADSEN® Astera2 can be viewed in the PMM module via the OTOsuite software. The tinnitus markers are available in both Real Ear and Coupler modes. This makes it easier to apply tinnitus measurement data in the fitting and verification process, resulting in a precise fitting of the hearing instrument and/or sound therapy device.
MADSEN Astera2 is the only clinical audiometer with a dedicated tinnitus evaluation module and tinnitus-specific questionnaires and psychoacoustic tests built in, and these enhancements now carry that valuable information through to the fitting process.
AudiologyOnline: Can AURICAL be used to fit wireless hearing instruments? Are there any other fitting tools that can help professionals improve their fitting success?
Mona: AURICAL HIT was made for wireless hearing instruments and is compatible with wireless programming interfaces. There is also an optional Ear-2-Ear verification kit for instruments with this feature, so that you can ensure you are delivering the maximum benefit with your wireless hearing instrument fittings.
There are numerous additional tools to make important fitting tasks easier to perform. Among others, On Target™ provides a simplified view of just how close your fitting is to matching prescriptive target. The User Tests and Sequencing feature makes it easy to simply reuse your favorite test flows and execute them quickly and consistently.
AudiologyOnline: How do existing AURICAL users access the latest upgrade?
Mona: Because AURICAL is software-based, hearing care professionals already using AURICAL can access all these enhancements through a simple software upgrade by downloading the latest version of OTOsuite from our website, www.audiologysystems.com/otosuite. They can also contact their Audiology Systems sales representative to upgrade their system to the latest version, or call us at (855) 283-7978.
AudiologyOnline: Do you offer training for professionals on the new features we’ve discussed today?
Wendy: Yes! We have planned new fitting courses in October 2015. A 7-hour hands-on AURICAL training facilitated by our audiologists will help professionals stay up-to-date with the latest fitting and verification techniques so they can deliver best outcomes.
In addition, we are very excited to introduce our newest CEU offering - a 7-hour FittingNOW! Expert Series hosted by Gus Mueller.
Our customers can contact their local sales representative or their dedicated field audiologists for more information about this training, or to learn about other education and training opportunities. They can also register for upcoming CEU courses at www.audiologysystems.com/