At InnoCaption, we are incredibly lucky to have loyal users who are always providing us with feedback and suggestions to ensure the InnoCaption app is the best possible telecommunications accessibility solution. Over the past year, we have heard from many users asking us to connect with hearing healthcare providers, especially audiologists, to make sure they have what they need to educate their patients about the availability of InnoCaption. After hearing on numerous occasions: “I love InnoCaption, but why didn’t I hear about you earlier from my audiologist?”, we decided it was time for our team to proactively reach out to hearing health professionals.

With that in mind, we teamed up with The Hearing Journal, one of the leading publications in hearing health, to survey their readers. The goal of our survey was to learn more about the levels of awareness of assistive hearing technologies amongst hearing healthcare providers and the trends they expect to see in the coming years.  Ultimately, by learning about what these professionals are recommending and where they see the future of telecommunications accessibility going, we felt we would be able to better connect with them and become a helpful resource.

The survey results showed a shift in recommendations for assistive hearing technologies by audiologists. Overall, smartphone-based captioning mobile apps showed the highest increase in the proportion of clinicians who will recommend them to patients over the next five years. This aligns with the wider trends we’ve seen of technology both being utilized more frequently in healthcare at large and individuals moving away from landline phones.

We also found that the responding providers felt like they faced specific challenges while recommending newer app-based captioning options, like feeling that their patients may not be technologically savvy enough, a lack of familiarity, or a perceived lack of interest or need in the new captioning options.

The InnoCaption team plans to use these new insights to lower the barriers clinicians face when recommending mobile captioning options to their patients. We are confident through education, advocacy, and outreach, we will be able to provide the resources hearing health care providers need to confidently teach their patients about the availability of InnoCaption.

We are incredibly excited to get started on making these connections, and grateful to each one of our users who contacted us to advocate for this!

Below are a few of our biggest takeaways from the report. To view the findings in their entirety, you can read the full report here.

Smartphone-based phone captioning mobile apps and in-person captioning mobile apps showed the highest increase in the proportion of clinicians who will usually or always recommend them to patients over the next five years (from 34% to 49% and from 14% to 27%, respectively). 

Specific challenges clinicians face when recommending newer app-based captioning technologies:

  • 51% of respondents feel that their patients aren’t technologically savvy enough;
  • 42% of clinicians are not familiar with the newest technologies;
  • 39% of clinicians feel that their patients aren’t interested in the new captioning options or don’t have a perceived need.