Evaluating validity of remote pure tone audiometric testing conducted from North America on subjects in South Africa. Desktop-sharing computer software was used to control an audiometer in Pretoria from Dallas, and PC-based videoconferencing was employed for clinician and subject communication.
Thirty adult subjects were assessed, and the pure tone audiometric thresholds (125-8000 Hz) obtained through conventional face-to-face and remote testing were compared. Face-to-face and remote audiometry thresholds differed by 10 dB in only 4% of cases overall. The limits of agreement between the two techniques were -8 and 7 dB with a 90% confidence interval of -5 to 5 dB. The average reaction times to stimulus presentations were similar, within -108 and 121 ms. The average test duration was 21% longer for remote testing (10.4 vs. 8.2 min).
There were no clinically significant differences between the results obtained by remote intercontinental audiometric testing and conventional face-to-face audiometry. It may therefore be possible to expand the reach of audiological services into remote underserved regions of the world. Proving the validity of the KUDUwave for use in tele-audiology