Providing Tele ABR in Rural India This paper discusses the challenges in conducting real time diagnostic Tele-Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing in remote rural locations, based on our experience with testing over 100 infants and young children in a community based hearing screening program. Two methods of tele-ABR, one using satellite connectivity in a mobile tele-van ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2014
Providing Tele ABR in Rural India
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Vidya Ramkumar
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India
  • Roopa Nagarajan
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India
  • Selvakumar Kumaravelu
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India
  • James W. Hall
    Department of Audiology, Nova Southern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    College of Audiology, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA
    Department of Communication Pathology, University Pretoria, South Africa
  • Financial Disclosure: Vidya Ramkumar is a Senior Lecturer at Sri Ramachandra University. Roopa Nagarajan is a Professor at Sri Ramachandra University. Selvakumar Kumaravelu is a Professor at Sri Ramachandra University. James W. Hall is an Adjunct Professor at Nova Southern University, Adjust Professor at Salus University, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria.
    Financial Disclosure: Vidya Ramkumar is a Senior Lecturer at Sri Ramachandra University. Roopa Nagarajan is a Professor at Sri Ramachandra University. Selvakumar Kumaravelu is a Professor at Sri Ramachandra University. James W. Hall is an Adjunct Professor at Nova Southern University, Adjust Professor at Salus University, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Vidya Ramkumar has previously published in the subject area. Roopa Nagarajan has previously published in the subject area. Selvakumar Kumaravelu has previously published in the subject area. James W. Hall has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Vidya Ramkumar has previously published in the subject area. Roopa Nagarajan has previously published in the subject area. Selvakumar Kumaravelu has previously published in the subject area. James W. Hall has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / International & Global / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2014
Providing Tele ABR in Rural India
SIG 18 Perspectives on Telepractice, March 2014, Vol. 4, 30-36. doi:10.1044/teles4.1.30
SIG 18 Perspectives on Telepractice, March 2014, Vol. 4, 30-36. doi:10.1044/teles4.1.30

This paper discusses the challenges in conducting real time diagnostic Tele-Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing in remote rural locations, based on our experience with testing over 100 infants and young children in a community based hearing screening program. Two methods of tele-ABR, one using satellite connectivity in a mobile tele-van and other using broadband internet connectivity in a non-government organization at the remote location is used in the program. Advantages and disadvantages related to the two methods, challenges with respect to training technicians for telepractice, training village health workers for remote assistance, and other practical and logistic considerations in conducting tele-ABR in remote site is detailed.

Acknowledgements
We wish to thank the Indian Council of Medical Research for funding this research; GSI, USA, for loaning equipment required for the study; Vanaja C. Shankarnarayan, Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology; Bharati Vidyapeeth, Deemed University at Pune, India for her advice on ABR; Mr. Satish Kumar, Engineer; Telemedicine Centre, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India for his telemedicine assistance; Dr. P. Balasubramanian, Executive Director, RUWSEC (NGO), Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu, India for support at the local community.
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