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An Interview With The Lead Of The My.Widex.Com team

The MY.WIDEX.COM concept discussed

My WidexA new offering from Widex has me particularly excited, disclaimer here, just in case you don’t know I work for Widex. However, don’t let that fact put you off, the MY.WIDEX.COM concept could have amazing and far reaching effects on our industry. I believe that as a vehicle it can be leveraged to drive Patient retention and engagement. It will consolidate your position as a caring service provider and it may well reduce time spent on rehab visits and cancellations. (We do not have evidence to back up “reduced time” arguments, just to let you know.)

The concept is an online personal microsite that you deploy for your Patients. it is supremely designed and populated by Widex and setting it up for each Patient is a two minute exercise. I really believe that those two minutes will make a huge difference not just in engagement but also in rehab time spent. In the next couple of posts I will explore the concept, explain it in detail and explain how I feel it can be deployed to consolidate your brand.

But first, I would like to introduce Marie-Louise from Widex Denmark. Marie-Louise is the project manager for MY.WIDEX.COM and is most intimate with the concept.

GC. Marie-Louise you are welcome to Just Audiology Stuff, How did the concept for MY.WIDEX.COM evolve?

M.L. It is a general fact in the industry that too many hearing aids that were intended to improve the life of a hearing impaired person simply end up in the drawer.

So we stared to dig into the large pile of existing research on that matter and identified the causes.

For hearing aid users adaption issues can be  broken down to basically:

· Lack of counselling

· Handling difficulties

· Unrealistic expectations

GC. What was the motivation behind the concept for Widex?

M.L. Giving hearing aid users the best sound available is one thing. Making sure they get the most out of their hearing aid is another. In fact, involving them in the process is crucial if they are to enjoy a successful experience.

The content on MY.WIDEX.COM reflect the essentials that a typical hearing user is asking for. Studies show that only about 50% of the information provided by healthcare providers is retained, up to 80% is at risk of being forgotten immediately and about 50% is remembered incorrectly. So you can say that there is an explicit need present for a tool like MY.WIDEX.COM.

The unique part is that the content is made relevant for the individual which makes it easier to navigate to what they need to know.

Where a user instruction is generic, MY.WIDEX.COM is tailor made according to the specific hearing aid type of the individual user but also the actual tip or mould and how to maintain these accessories specifically. On MY.WIDEX.COM you also have exclusive access to the specific program setting and you can see and learn about your specific hearing loss. Plus a list of concrete tips and advice is available and there is a dedicated section for relatives. Relatives often play an important part in keeping the motivation of the hearing aid user, but they also need to get the expectations right and how to help in an effective way.

We wish to make the rehabilitation as smooth and easy as possible.  This is also why we designed the tool on MY.WIDEX.COM called the Hearing Aid Questionnaire which is an online questionnaire that is linked to COMPASS GPS fitting software.

The dispenser can choose to activate the tool on MY.WIDEX.COM  in the rehabilitation process. The questionnaire is also generating specific questions based on the individual users hearing aid, programs, if we are dealing with one or two hearing aids etc..

The questionnaire is easy to work with as you just tick off the questions and are given a report afterwards that shows how satisfied you are with the fit.  The report is automatically send to both the hearing aid user and the dispenser so both parties know where more work is needed in the next consultation. Again creating involvement and matching expectations.

GC. I know that the concept was tested with assorted pilot groups before release, how did those tests go?

M.L. The test were very valuable for us as they gave us an idea of how to roll up the concept so the idea was appealing for both professionals and for the hearing aid users.

Did the testing phase encourage changes in the original concept?

No, the content is the same as the original concept idea. What we enhanced was some supporting tools on specific issues from the test.

One example is the themes of the web tutorials. They are targeting specific questions that occurred in general from the pilot.

GC. As I have said earlier, I am very excited with the concept, I think that it will really increase Patient engagement and retention, what are your thoughts?

M.L. I am of course very excited about the roll out of this unique concept. Because we did a pilot previously to the launch, I do actually have evidence on the effect of the tool. Some highlights that I would like to share with you is for example the fact that 80% of the hearing aid users where more satisfied with their hearing aids after using MY.WIDEX.COM than before. And a little over 80% describe MY.WIDEX.COM as an important tool. 72% of the hearing aid users find that MY.WIDEX.COMhas given them better insight into their hearing loss.

GC. Do you envisage any changes in the concept to be rolled out in the future?

M.L. We will observe the initial launch and get feedback from the global launch. Based on this information we decide on the next step with the concept.

G.C. One of the things that I have been asked about is an expanded clinic listing element, is it something that you have thought about?

M.L. There are currently no plans to expand the content possibilities but a lot of ideas from the project team has been raised.

GC. Inevitably there will be naysayers and critics, one of the questions I foresee is about control of the data and privacy, how have Widex dealt with that?

M.L. We know that this concept will not be adapted by all dispensers and we respect that. It is a service and a business opportunity free of cost, but not something we force up on them.

We put disclaimers on various elements about handling data and being in compliance with the local laws on transferring personal data. We have taken that matter very seriously.

Thank you Marie-Louise for your time and input, I think you have a winner with this concept and I wish you and your team the very best with its continued success. I will delve deeper into my.widex.com in further posts, but while you are waiting, hop over to widex.pro to have a look yourselves.

Regards

Geoff

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About Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling: I have a great interest in business development strategies as they apply to the Healthcare environment. Particularly the Hearing Healthcare profession. I am fascinated by social media and its impact on society in general. My work background is quite varied but for the last several years I have worked within the hearing profession. Initially I worked as a dispenser but in the last few years I have worked as a sales manager for a leading manufacturer.
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