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On September 14, 2018, two separate Jacoti Lola systems were successfully deployed and demonstrated in the ENT and Audiology Clinic of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX. Lola was installed in an intake officer’s office and in a clinical examination room. Lola was enthusiastically embraced by both staff and patients. Although this was a very short demonstration, it appears that Lola will have considerable utility within a hospital setting not only in admissions but also during the entire clinical journey. The Parkland team discussed several refinements and features that could make Lola more useful both in hospitals and for other use cases.
Two “stations” in the clinic were set up: an intake office and a medical examination room. The equipment was the same as that used during the ADA San Diego Lola deployment. In both installs, the setup was virtually identical.
Lola worked flawlessly. There were no reports of stuttering or dropouts. One patient did describe a “wind” sound which, given the particular nature of her hearing loss, we believe was the delay between the live sound of the voice in the room and the Lola-amplified sound.
It was a slow Friday and the demo was limited to about 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon. About five to seven patients were seen, some only during intake and some also in the Lola-equipped examination room. Both staff and patients quickly understood Lola’s purpose and began using it immediately with minimal instruction. Typically, staff wore the device in the side-pocket of their exam jackets and clipped the lapel mic near their mouth. Patients wore the earphones (in one case, over a hearing aid) and held the iPod Touch in their laps.
The intake officer stated that she “loved” using Lola. She noted (as did staff observing Lola during intake) that patients with hearing problems were more attentive and seemed to better understand her questions than without Lola. In addition, patients whose English was not very good also benefited from the increased SNR Lola provided. Similar comments and enthusiasm was expressed by both patients and staff (doctors and nurse staff) in the exam room. Patients seemed to hear better and staff expressed enjoyment at using Lola.
“I feel that the first phase of this project at Parkland was hugely successful – the benefits in the registration and ENT clinics were clearly recognised by the patients and hospital folks. In fact, it was enormously gratifying—and, even astonishing—to see the great extent to which the patients were helped by Jacoti Lola and to see how quickly and easily the patients and staff adjusted to using Jacoti Lola. The outcome most decisively exceeded my expectations. I do feel that ultimately, the Jacoti Lola set-up at Parkland could serve as a model for other medical institutions, and could greatly advance delivery of health services to persons with hearing loss, which, in turn, can lead to better health outcomes and better quality of life.”
Dr. Carol Silverman, Professor, AuD Program and PhD Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY