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“We Help to Enjoy the Gift of Hearing”   

An Interview with Roman Fishchuk, Founder of Innovative Hearing Center in Ukraine

 

In line with the motto of this year's World Hearing Day "Ear and Hearing Care for All" - we would like to turn our attention to a country that has unfortunately been in a very special state of emergency since February 2022 – the Ukraine. We do not want to go into detail about the omnipresent events here, but rather draw attention to the work of a very dedicated ENT physician. Roman Fishchuk is the founder of the "Innovative Hearing Center" in Ivano-Frankivsk in Western Ukraine. In the following interview he tells us exciting things about his work, his experience with the hearing screening devices from MAICO Diagnostics and the challenges of modern newborn hearing screening.

Roman, many thanks that you found the time to talk with us today. Would you please give our readers a short introduction of yourself?

My name is Roman Fishchuk. I am an ENT doctor, founder of the Hearing Centre in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine and head of clinical trials unit at Central city clinical hospital of Ivano-Frankivsk city council. 

 

This sounds very engaged and challenging, Roman.
What is the passion and motivation behind these activities?

I am very passionate about being useful to the community and using my potential to its fullest. By providing high quality services for the patients and access to the most innovative developments in medicine I hope to improve patients’ lives and their health condition.

 

How did you get in touch with MAICO?

I saw MAICO stands at many professional events and was always talking to the representatives there. I was always impressed with the scope of products, their design, functionality. When I started my professional career and focused on otology/audiology I was looking for high quality equipment for our work. MAICO products were always very desirable.

 

“MAICO easyScreen – a fantastic tool for newborn hearing screening”

 

We´re very happy to hear that, Roman. You´re using the MAICO easyScreen – for which situations is it most suitable and how does this screening device ease your daily work?

MAICO easyScreen is a fantastic tool for newborn hearing screening. Be it at the bedside of the child, in the clinic or at the family’s home. The name speaks for itself. It’s easy to use, intuitive, light in weight which is very important if you navigate between the wards or need to set up everything quickly. Having an option to print the results is also very helpful. The printer is very compact in size and connects well to the device.

When you work with newborn babies it’s very important to be very efficient in all aspects. The easyScreen device is very convenient to use in various settings. It’s size, weight, touch-screen reaction to data entry and speed of the test performance allow to test newborns quickly and without stress both for the baby, parent and the physician. The color display makes it easy to be sure you are testing the right ear and helps to explain the results to the parents.

 

“Helping children to enjoy the sounds of life”

 

Personally, what is for you the most interesting and exciting aspect of audiology and hearing health?

What motivates and excites me the most working in audiology and otology is the fact that you are able to test a baby that is only a few hours after birth and actually suspect the presence of a hearing loss. And if proved you can offer early interventions. This has so much impact on the child’s life. And hopefully by our work we can help children enjoy the sounds that surround them during life.

 

A view into the future: Which special challenges do you see in newborn hearing screening?

With newborn screening programs in general there are always different challenges. They range from difficulties during testing to more administrative challenges that health care systems face when they try to set up a proper screening program. The main challenges I see are: lack of proper equipment and coverage of newborns with hearing screening; lack of follow-up for children who failed hearing screening; limited resources for interventions after hearing loss was confirmed; lack of specialists for hearing rehabilitation. I think our main efforts should be focused on overcoming these challenges.

 

“A newborn hearing screening program is crucial for every country.”

 

Finally, would you like to see newborn hearing screening become even more important and mandatory in public health internationally and why?

Absolutely! I’ve been trying to advocate for this for at least the last 10 years. The sooner we identify the problem the sooner we’ll be able to provide interventions that can help children hear and lead a normal life - enjoy the gift of hearing. I think it’s absolutely crucial to have a national universal newborn hearing screening program in every country.

 

Thank you very much for this great conversation, Roman!

 

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