The 6th European Pediatric Conference, titled, ‘Current developments and new directions in pediatric audiology’, hosted by Phonak, took place in Munich in May 2019. This fantastic event takes place every 3 years and always brings together an exciting line-up of international experts on the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of children with hearing loss. Andrea Bohnert and Thomas Wiesner served as Co-Chairs for this year’s event. They assembled an informative and thought provoking program related to everyday pediatric clinical and educational practice.
With record attendance, more than 550 hearing health care professionals from 18 countries traveled to Munich for two full days of lectures and round table discussions on recent developments in pediatric audiology.
Current developments and new directions in UHL
Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe from Vanderbilt University delivered the keynote address on the impact of unilateral hearing loss (UHL). Dr. Tharpe suggested a new term, Limited Usable Hearing Unilaterally (LUHU) may be a better term than single-sided deafness (SSD) to describe the consequences of UHL. She highlighted the significant differences in outcomes between children with UHL and that there’s still no certain method for determining which children will struggle. Ongoing assessment and monitoring are the keys to successfully managing these children and there’s a new consensus paper in submission providing guidance on best practice.
She was joined by two other researchers from Vanderbilt. Dr. Erin Picou, discussed recent investigations into hearing instrument technology for children with UHL including CROS. Carlos Benitez-Barrera presented the latest data on remote microphone use at home, showing children can have access to as much as 12% more child-directed speech when using a remote microphone at home compared to hearing aids alone.
And new directions in other hot topics
It’s quite clear the digital transformation is taking place within our field. Michael Harrison from Australia gave a dynamic presentation on multimedia devices and apps for children with hearing loss, which included some live demonstrations, reviews and recommendations. There was also an engaging roundtable discussion on the implementation and benefits of eAudiology for the pediatric population. Gwen Carr, from the UK, shared the findings of a recent investigation into successfully using distance support or remote follow-up appointments to reach disengaged teenagers with hearing loss.
We truly appreciate all of the conference speakers, chairs and attendees for coming together to share their knowledge, experience, questions and advice on best practice. This conference never fails to offer an enlightening program focused on providing the best outcomes for children with hearing loss and their families.
To access the presentations from the conference, click here.