My primary research goal is to improve accessibility, affordability, and outcomes of hearing healthcare services by promoting self-management and also the use of digital technologies. My current research interests can be summarized along with the following four themes:
- eHealth (or Telehealth): Applications of the internet and modern information technology in the management of hearing-related disorders, in particular, guided behavioral rehabilitation via the internet (i.e., telerehabilitation or digital therapeutics).
- Hearing healthcare service delivery model: Developing evidence-base for new service delivery models (i.e., direct-to-consumer model, community-based rehabilitation) to improve accessibility, affordability, and outcomes of hearing healthcare services.
- Consumer Health Informatics (CHI): The focus is to understand the health communities, as well as patient-generated data and its uses within and outside healthcare systems. In particular, this line of research focuses on understanding the use of information from various digital mediums (e.g., Internet, social media) in self-assessment and self-management of people with communication disorders.
- Psychosocial aspects of hearing and balance disorders:This line of research has three distinct areas, which include: (a) understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of adolescents and/or young adults towards music-induced hearing loss and developing preventative strategies; (b) understanding the psychosocial factors related to help-seeking, hearing rehabilitation uptake and use, and to develop appropriate rehabilitative strategies; and (c) understanding the psychosocial consequences of Ménière’s disease on the individual affected and their significant others.
I co-lead the Virtual Hearing Lab with Prof. De We Wet Swanepoel. The Virtual Hearing Lab is an interdisciplinary collaborative research initiative with the aim to improve hearing health access, affordability, and outcomes by capitalizing on the internet, virtual spaces, and digital health.