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Audiology clinic, Artisan Hearing Technologies, explores new ways of reaching patients

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Jennifer Burget, board certified hearing instrument specialist and owner of Aritsan Hearing Technologies uses a digital otoscope to inspect the inside of the ear of Charles Laudenslager of Loyalsock Township. Jennifer is one of two specialist along with working with Dr. Robert D. Gwynn, a doctor of audiology.

Exploring new technologies, those at Artisan Hearing Technologies in South Williamsport have taken time during the COVID-19 pandemic to sharpen both their personal and business acumen.

“Hearing is a quality of life issue, even if you’re just trying to hear your grandchild on a Skype or video call,” said Jennifer Burget.

With 16 years of experience in the field, Burget owns the audiology clinic at 508 W. Southern Ave., leading the business to expand into two other offices through its 5-year lifetime.

Though all her one-on-one locations have been mandated to close by the state, Burget said, “It gives you a lot of time to think and definitely a lot of room to improve.”

Her business has stayed active by providing support to her patients through YouTube videos, of which there are more than 50, open Zoom question and answer periods, and planned consultations utilizing multiple resources, she said.

“If somebody doesn’t know the difference between their right and left hearing aid, we help them out, or with changing out ear tips or filters,” she said.

The ability to refer customers to those sessions or their videos for assistance with their hearing aids has been a positive experience that Burget said she plans to continue beyond the state mandated business closures.

“It’s been really cool, actually,” she said.

COVID-19 has accelerated hearing-aid manufacturers’ roll out of tele-audiometry, or at-home hearing tests, said Burget

Though the hearing test devices have yet to be cleared by the federal Food and Drug Administration, they are quickly advancing as the staff at Artisan Hearing Technologies begins to work with the technology.

“In the future, they’re looking at different devices you can send to people and video chat with them. The machine you can put in your ear will tell you if you have ear wax, tumors, or mid ear fluid,” she said. “So without me looking in your ear, I can send you a hearing test kit and you can stick this machine in your ear and, as long as you are cleared with that, you can move onto a portable audiometer.”

The technology is still in beta testing, but shows promise, said Burget.

Much of her passion for helping people with hearing difficulties comes from living with a spouse who is legally deaf without his hearing-aids, she said.

“Think about how inverted your life would be if you couldn’t hear,” she said. “You couldn’t do anything, no going to the grocery store, watching television, or anything.”

But luckily, the pandemic has only made Artisan Hearing Technologies employees better at their work.

“It’s been a really crazy roller coaster ride,” she said

After being forced to lay off staff and work out of a single office, Burget said she’s had to do work she hasn’t done since she started the business.

“In doing so, we have found several areas where our walls were weak and I was able to pick out where things were being done wrong or where I could improve,” she said.

“I’ve learned a lot about my business and how I can do a better job, with faster ways to get things done so that we can become a better business when we do open,” Burget added.

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