Hearing rehabilitation through telemedicine to enhance public policies in Brazil
Since 2004, the Brazilian government has run one of the most all-inclusive hearing rehabilitation program based on hearing aids worldwide. In 2007 this investment in hearing aids topped U$ 68 million, apart from covering the cost of physicians and audiologists. Nearly 140 centers are certified by the government to dispense fitted hearing aids, figures which are still low when one considers the size of the country. Telemedicine can represent a field of knowledge which broadens hearing rehabilitations services in Brazil, for it may help increase the number of hearing rehabilitation centers, enable remote training and provide for an “online second opinion”. As far as public administration is concerned, it may enable process standardization and the very control over this hugely complex operation. The present article aimed to consider Telemedicine a powerful ally to improve hearing health care policies in Brazil.