EHDI 2011: Sunday

In this post: Using information technology to improve Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs.  Read on!


Last Sunday, I flew off to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual conference on the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program.  EHDI includes newborn hearing screening, audiological diagnosis, and early intervention.  Here is what I learned — enjoy!



Using IT Applications for Games, Shopping and… EHDI???  Can this really help my program?


IT, or Information Technology, is all around us.  You can check your email, order flowers to be delivered, and read news from around the world all from a smartphone in the palm of your hand.  The presenters in this session focused on how to harness the power of this technology for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently working on research and development of applications that can help in the exchange of newborn hearing screening information, transfer records between health care professionals and agencies.  Soon, the CDC’s R&D team will launch a site featuring various applications for EHDI stakeholders to test, ask questions about, or propose new projects for the CDC’s “cloud” of computing power.  While these are computer-based databases and informatics products, smartphone applications are also in development.  One app that was demonstrated helps parents keep track of their child’s newborn hearing screening results, follow-up appointments, and includes a list of hearing loss risk factors and questions to ask various professionals (audiologists, early interventionists, pediatricians, etc.).


There are several factors to consider when designing web- or phone-based EHDI information technology:

  • Interoperability: is this information compatible with other electronic medical records? Can it be communicated among systems and between providers?

  • For the money and time spent, does providing public health information produce better outcomes than direct service?  Are we getting a good “bang for our buck” and creating real public health change by distributing this information?

  • Is it fast?  Most users will wait a maximum of 15 seconds for information.  We need to have this information fast, accessible, and relevant if we want it to be widely used.

What kind of informatics applications would help your program or your state better manage its early intervention data?  What kind of phone apps would help you with your child’s hearing loss journey?

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