As we begin 2021, you may be thinking that this year feels oddly similar to last year. Many people had hopes that 2021 would be completely different from 2020—free from the worries caused by a global pandemic and other far-reaching events. Although January 1, 2021, was not a magic date that ended all of the challenges, difficulties, or stress that began in 2020, there are many reasons to be optimistic in this new year.
2021 may indeed bear some similarities to 2020, such as adapted ways of doing business and living your day-to-day life thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, audiology leaders foresee a bright year in which audiology professionals around the world will continue to provide high-quality, personalized care to their patients. Here are a few reasons you can feel optimistic in 2021:
- Greater access to hearing healthcare through telemedicine
One of the first challenges that arose at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was how to care for your patients when it was a potential health risk to you, your team, and your patients to see them in person. A huge portion of audiology professionals rose to the occasion by adopting new technology that makes telemedicine not only possible, but a convenient, safe, and simple choice for providing your patients with personalized care.
While in-person visits will never be obsolete, telemedicine gives you a way to care for patients who cannot come to your office for any reason.
- Highlighted importance of hearing health
Many areas of the country and the world have experienced lockdowns. In these times, when people had very limited contact with anyone outside of their household, it quickly became apparent how important hearing is. With more and more people turning to technology like video calls, making sure you can hear those you are speaking to is essential. This highlighted to many people that they had been neglecting their hearing health and encouraged them to seek the professional care they needed.
This trend will continue in 2021 as video calls and other technologies remain the norm for conducting business, attending school, reaching family members, and more.
- Decreasing the stigma surrounding hearing aids
With more and more people realizing that they would benefit from hearing aids or other types of hearing health care, the stigma surrounding these devices is fading quickly. Hearing aids are continually being made smaller, more discreet, and easier to use, and people find them easier to accept in their lives. As hearing aids become increasingly acceptable to the consumer, more people will feel comfortable seeking the hearing healthcare they need.
- Increased collaboration with other healthcare providers
It would be a great understatement to say that the healthcare industry was under stress in 2020. Challenges arose that most health professionals had never experienced before. The response, however, was one that impressed the world. In 2020, audiology professionals began collaborating with other healthcare professionals in unique ways. This will continue to grow in 2021, with ever-expanding opportunities to move the industry forward and better deal with new challenges.
- Growing patient control over hearing devices
Hearing healthcare technology has improved immensely in recent years, and it is not slowing down now. One of the greatest innovations seen in 2020 was that more patients were able to adjust their own hearing devices through their smartphone or computer. Giving patients more control over their devices allows them to make the necessary adjustments without the need for an in-office visit. While 2021 may bring its own challenges, and you may still be working through some difficulties that began in 2020, there is no doubt that this year is full of new opportunities. To learn more about how to continue to grow your business in 2021, we invite you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.