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Q1. When is a patient ready to use a handsfree device?
A patient’s suitability and readiness to use a handsfree device, such as the Provox LifeFreeHands FlexiVoice, depends on a number of factors and will be unique to each patient. However there are a few simple checks that you can do to see if your patient is ready:
Does the patient have a voice prosthesis? For obvious reasons, having a voice prosthesis is an essential requirement of using a handsfree device.
Are they able to achieve voice? Patients who have difficulty phonating due to stricture or spasms may have difficulty using handsfree successfully.
What voice prosthesis do they have? Airflow characteristics of the voice prosthesis are also important, with patients on a larger diameter voice prosthesis tending to require less speaking effort and reduced issues with baseplate seal.
Is the patient more than three months after surgery? Although this is not essential, patients typically need to have become familiar with their voice prosthesis, baseplates/tubes and HMEs before getting started with handsfree. Some patients may achieve this earlier than three months, and for others, it may take longer.
Can they achieve a good seal around the stoma? Effective use of any handsfree device depends on achieving and maintaining a good seal. Our Provox Life Stability baseplate is ideal for this purpose, and many patients experience good results by placing the handsfree device directly into a lary tube or button. The manual occlusion feature of the FlexiVoice has also been found to help maintain a good seal (Lansaat, 2016).
Can the patient operate and remove the device independently or with supervision? If a patient is unable to move their arms or has decreased levels of consciousness then an automatic speaking valve is not suitable.
Is the patient motivated to use handsfree? Getting used to a handsfree device takes some time, effort and adjustment, so it is important that the patient is willing to engage with the process. Some patients will have a specific reason that they want or need to use handsfree, for example, work or a hobby such as cooking or gardening; whereas for others, it is about getting back to something that feels ‘normal’. Why not ask your patient whether they would be interested in trying handsfree?
Q2. What are the features of Provox FreeHands FlexiVoice?
The Provox LifeFreeHands FlexiVoice consists of two parts, a speaking valve, comprising of a plastic casing with silicone membrane, and a disposable HME.
With Provox Life FreeHands FlexiVoice the HME is situated behind the closing membrane, where it can be conditioned by the exhaled air, rather than in front of the membrane, as in some devices.
Speaking, breathing and manual occlusion options
When the FlexiVoice is in place, patients can switch easily and instantly between two modes; handsfree speaking mode and locked (breathing) mode.
Four different membrane strength options
The Provox Life FreeHands FlexiVoice is available in four different strength membranes, Light, Medium, Strong and XtraStong, depending on the unique needs of the patient.
We often suggest that patients start with the medium strength membrane, and can step up to the strong membrane or down to the light membrane accordingly.
Q3. What support is available for the FreeHands FlexiVoice?
We are keen to ensure that both clinicians and patients feel entirely supported and confident when setting up, troubleshooting and using the FreeHands FlexiVoice. As such, we offer a range of support options through our Territory Sales Managers and in-house Speech & Language Therapists. We offer:
- A free half-day set-up clinic with every new FlexiVoice sample or order, where one of our team – trained extensively in the product, set-up system and troubleshooting tips – will attend to help you get the patient started with the device.
- Troubleshooting help to support you with any issues or queries that arise while the patient is getting used to the device, to help them achieve successful handsfree speech.
- Complimentary Get Started Guide for patients, with troubleshooting tips and an accountability tracker to increase motivation, confidence and long-term usage.
If you would like further information and training on the Provox Life FreeHands FlexiVoice, we can also offer free personalised in-house training to your and your team.
Q4. What is the price of the FreeHands FlexiVoice?
Despite its range of market-leading features, the FreeHands FlexiVoice is one of the most inexpensive handsfree devices on the market! It is also available on prescription. If you would like to request a copy of our price list please email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on prescription.