The field of audiology is currently undergoing a major disruption sparked by trends such as digitalization and changing consumer preferences. And with COVID unexpectedly accelerating events – creating an acute need for no-touch, remote care – audiology is entering a new realm. To help hearing care professionals and people with hearing loss navigate this changing landscape, the Ida Institute is now launching an extensive co-creation project: Future Hearing Journeys.

The Ida Institute will be working with the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, among others, to investigate current megatrends at a societal level and then examine how those affect healthcare and audiology specifically. Through a combination of surveys, interviews, and focus groups, the Future Hearing Journeys project will gather insights and evidence from key actors across hearing healthcare, including hearing care professionals, people with hearing loss, advocacy groups, industry representatives, academics, and other stakeholders.

After analyzing the gathered insights, the results will be discussed with the Ida Institute Advisory Board, partners, and other thought leaders in regional online meetings, and the Ida Institute will then sketch worst/best case scenarios and predict how those might impact user needs, delivery models, and access to person-centered care. Based on the synthesized insights and data, the Ida Institute will develop resources to help hearing care professionals and people with hearing loss navigate this new environment.

Harvey Abrams, Head of Audiology Research at Lively, says: “COVID has taken us into the future, temporarily at least. Traumatic for some but a world of possibilities for people who have been waiting for a change to the status quo. This will push more audiologists and patients to remote care. Audiologists will need to reeducate and reinvest. And they will need support.”

Lise Lotte Bundesen, Managing Director of the Ida Institute, says: “By assessing the changes in the field and following conversations with various key actors, we identified a need for some sort of guidance or compass to navigate this rapidly changing landscape. And that is what we hope to provide through Future Hearing Journeys. We are thrilled to see the interest that the project is gaining already – and hope that as many people as possible will get involved and tell us what they think.”

The Ida Institute invites everyone in hearing healthcare to share their views by filling out this survey.