Phonak Faces of Audiology: Five Minutes with Christine Jones, VP Audiology at Phonak US
AudiologyOnline: Christine, you have been appointed as Vice President of Audiology at Phonak US two years ago. What is your resume so far and what will be this year’s focus for you?
Christine Jones, AuD: Over the past 2 years, we have brought the Marvel portfolio to market. We knew back in the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) lab it was going to be a winner, but these products really do result in “Love at First Sound” and it is a significant change when consumers walk into hearing care offices asking for a product by name. In my nearly 20 years as an audiologist, that has not happened before Marvel.
Beyond individual products, we are really excited about the growing body of evidence illuminating how hearing well contributes to overall well-being. These findings really elevate the status of hearing in our healthcare priorities and highlight the unique opportunity that we have in Audiology to partner with patients in navigating the healthy aging process. Building on these findings, we are sponsoring a really interesting symposium at AAA this year. As if New Orleans won’t be enough fun, we have a night focused on a breaking study illuminating the effect of hearing aid use on cognitive decline and highlighting the importance of hearing in global health outcomes and how it should be considered in healthcare systems. It will be an inspiring evening with plenty of food and drinks to boot!
While our Audiology Ambassadors have been busy spreading the word about all of these important research and thought leadership topics, our clinical training team has also just completed a digital roadshow where we offered 27 digital trainings on our latest products the Naida and Virto M. The Virto M Black in particular has made a huge splash, riding the wave of interest in hearable technology, winning tons of awards at CES, and really making a statement about stigma and hearing aids. We designed this roadshow specifically around feedback from our customer, adapting the availability, format and content specifically around their direct feedback desires. We also did a lot of preparation around digital best practices and were rewarded with tremendous interest and participation from the market.
AudiologyOnline: Speaking of digital tools. eAudiology is a key initiative at Phonak. Will the future of hearing care be digital?
Christine Jones, AuD: Yes, definitely. The digital transformation has been one of the biggest disruptions to our industry, but at the same time a huge opportunity for us to take hearing technology and hearing care to the next level. Technology gives us the unprecedented ability to provide personalized hearing care, to define a way to achieve their individual goals together, and achieve even better outcomes.
We at Phonak believe that eAudiology holds benefits for both hearing care professionals and patients. In order to support hearing care professionals in moving from theory to practice, we have convened an expert circle, consisting of international opinion leaders. This group has developed a consensus statement designed to help align terminology used to describe remote delivery of care, discuss benefits and barriers to eAudiology and options available for hearing care professionals. On this basis, we have launched a year-long, monthly eAudiology webinar series to guide hearing care professionals through the digital transformation. The recordings of the webinars are available on Phonak Learning.
AudiologyOnline: Phonak has launched a podcast series on Family-Centered Care last year in which you talk to experts about Family-Centered Care. Why a podcast, and why this topic?
Christine Jones, AuD: A podcast is all about listening. The perfect choice in an industry in which it is all about hearing, isn’t it? (Laughs.) Seriously, podcasts are not only a trend among consumers, but they offer professionals a format to digest relevant information in a convenient and flexible way. We have created our podcast series, The Audiologist, to offer audiologists and people interested in audiology new perspectives on hearing health topics. We at Phonak regularly collaborate with top audiology experts from around the world. With our podcast series, we want to share their inspiring views and insights from the industry and the latest on research and learning.
Family-Centered Care offers huge potential to achieve better outcomes for patients, but many hearing care professionals are either not aware of this concept or do not know how to leverage it in their daily routine. With our series of three podcasts on Family-Centered Care, we want to encourage hearing care professionals and demonstrate how easily the family can be involved into the management of hearing loss.
AudiologyOnline: You have started your career in audiology in pediatrics. What makes this field so special to you?
Christine Jones, AuD: I have spent a lot of my career in pediatrics, and pediatrics is what really sparked my passion for audiology in the very beginning. By early identifying hearing loss in children and providing the right solutions to support those children in achieving whatever goals they or their parents have, we can really make a difference in their lives. We can support them in their development, their education, and their lifestyle and make sure they have the same chances in life than their peers without hearing loss. Accompanying children on their journey with hearing loss and watching their development is a truly rewarding experience.
AudiologyOnline: Based on your more than 20 years in the industry, why should young people consider a career in audiology?
Christine Jones, AuD: I think what’s exciting about the field of audiology is how science and technology can be used to improve people’s quality of life. What I also love about our industry is that we have this opportunity for continuous improvement. Certainly, the profession will evolve in the coming years. I think we will make better use of our expertise and training to be better networked in the healthcare system. As a result, we have a unique opportunity to be a powerful ally for patients in some of the most critical years of their life in terms of well-being. That opportunity combined with the power of quickly evolving technology and the richness of hearing science is pretty exciting!
Learn more about Christine’s career, his learnings, and passions: https://audiologyblog.phonakpro.com/faces-of-audiology/christine-jones/