MED-EL Named Hearing Technology “Innovator of the Year”

Inaugural Hearing Health & Technology Matters Awards Recognize SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant System, BONEBRIDGE Bone Conduction Implant and AudioKey App for Innovation Excellence

DURHAM, NC – October 19, 2020 – MED-EL announced today that it has been named Innovator of the Year by the first-ever Hearing Health & Technology Matters (HHTM) Innovator Awards™. The announcement was made at the virtual Academy of Doctors of Audiology meeting, AuDacity 2020

MED-EL placed in each category that it entered:

  • The SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant (CI) System, was awarded 1st place (Gold) in the Auditory Implant Category. The industry-leading innovation of a diametrically-opposed magnet shattered traditional CI design features and – for the first time – enabled safe MRI with the internal magnet left in place by following simple scanning instructions that are easy for any MRI facility. The SYNCHRONY CI System was the first, and remains the only, cochlear implant system in the United States to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a single-sided deafness (SSD) indication, filling a major unmet need in the hearing loss community. The SYNCHRONY CI System now features the latest FDA approved off-the-ear audio processor, the RONDO 3.
  • The BONEBRIDGE Bone Conduction Implant, was awarded 3rd place (Bronze) in the same Auditory Implant Category. The introduction of BONEBRIDGE meant that for the first time, bone conduction implant candidates could choose a system that offered a powerful combination of intact skin, enhanced wearing comfort and direct stimulation of the bone. As a result, BONEBRIDGE is widely considered a breakthrough in bone conduction technology and it aligns with the MED-EL mission to gently restore hearing with intact-skin hearing implants that enhance communication and quality of life.
  • The AudioKey App, was awarded 2nd place (Silver) in the Assistive Technology & Software Category. AudioKey is the only cochlear implant app that allows a parent to pair multiple user’s audio processors with their phone, which is ideal in families with more than one MED-EL cochlear implant recipient.

“The Innovator of the Year award is an exciting accolade, as innovation is a part of our DNA. While we are driven by research and development, MED-EL is so much more than a single implant, processor or technology. We are hundreds of thousands of lives that have been changed as a result of the pursuit of ideas that were once thought to be impossible,” said Raymond Gamble, President & CEO, MED-EL North America. “It’s gratifying to be recognized for our pioneering vision and dedication to fulfilling our mission.”

“It is exciting to recognize and honor companies who invest in innovation to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. We are thrilled to name MED-EL as our first-ever Innovator of the Year based on their industry leadership and innovative spirit,” said Kevin Liebe, AuD, HHTM President and CEO.

Through the annual awards program, HHTM recognizes technological innovation and achievement in the hearing industry. This year’s awards program saw dozens of innovative technologies, submitted from companies across the globe.

About the Hearing Technology Innovator Awards

The Hearing Technology Innovator Awards™ is an international awards program designed to recognize and celebrate innovation within the hearing industry. Learn more here.

About Hearing Health & Technology Matters

Hearing Health & Technology Matters (HHTM) is an organization dedicated to bridging the knowledge gaps in treating hearing loss. Readers and contributors are drawn from many sectors of the hearing field, including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and, importantly, consumers with hearing loss and those who love them. By involving all these groups, we hope to bridge the gaps in knowledge that so often divide them. To learn more, visit HearingHealthMatters.org.

About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 2,200 employees from around 75 nations and has 30 locations worldwide.

The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 124 countries to enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s global portfolio of hearing solutions includes cochlear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, and bone conduction devices. www.medel.com

Advanced Bionics Issues a Recall

Advanced Bionics has sent a letter to some recipients of the HiRes Ultra / HiRes Ultra 3D noting that some of these devices may have an issue with the electrode array that could adversely affect the performance of the device.  The text of the letter is available here.

Implants that may be affected have been recalled, and the current version available today has resolved the issue. The company says that about 0.5% of recipients of the affected devices have had revision surgery.

To assess the significance of the issue, refer to our analysis of the FDA Manufacturer and User facility Device Experience database. A constant failure rate for a given manufacturer should show a curve that rises with the number of implants in the field. Over the past several years, all three major CI manufacturers show relatively flat numbers of incidents.  As cochlear implants have enjoyed healthy growth in this time frame, the implication is that reliability has been improving steadily.

The Advanced Bionics chart shows a spike in the middle of 2019, which may be related to the recall.  After the middle of 2019, the incident rate seems to have returned to preceding trend. Prior recalls (from any manufacturer) are visible on the charts.

There does seem to be a recent increase in reported events for Cochlear towards the end of 2019 beyond what a trendline would indicate.  Hopefully this is just an anomaly, and not related to any reliability issue. The MED-EL curve appears to be decreasing, which would indicate improved reliability, particularly in a growing market.

Naída CI Q90 Acoustic Earhook in US/Canada

Naída CI Q90 Acoustic Earhook

Advanced Bionics announces the availability of the Naída CI Q90 Acoustic Earhook for Naída CI Q90 recipients in the US and Canada. With the simple addition of the acoustic earhook, the Naída CI Q90 sound processor can deliver acoustic amplification in combination with electrical stimulation to help maximize your hearing experience. Intended for CI candidates and recipients who may benefit from acoustic amplification, the Naída CI Q90 Acoustic Earhook is an all-in-one solution that extends AB’s portfolio for individuals with severe-to-profound hearing loss.

Read more here.

Advanced Bionics Naída Link CROS

Naid Link CROS

Advanced Bionics extends their portfolio of solutions for cochlear implant users with the introduction of the Naída Link CROS Solution.

If you have one cochlear implant, and no hearing in the opposite ear, the Naída Link CROS can transmit sound wirelessly from your ‘bad’ side to the cochlear implant!

Full press release from Advanced Bionics:

Jul 26, 2017

The Naída Link CROS Solution

Advanced Bionics extends their portfolio of solutions for cochlear implant users with the introduction of the Naída Link CROS Solution.

— Advanced Bionics extends their portfolio of solutions for cochlear implant users with the introduction of the Naída Link CROS Solution

VALENCIA, Calif., July 26, 2017 – Today, Advanced Bionics (AB) and Phonak announced an industry first for cochlear implant users. The Phonak Naída™ Link CROS, a wireless audio transmitter, was introduced to provide full access to sounds for unilateral cochlear implant candidates with no hearing in their opposite ear. Approximately 30%– 45% of cochlear implant recipients¹ are single-sided listeners who are at a significant disadvantage when positioned with their “hearing ear” away from the speaker, as might happen in automobiles or at meetings or group dinners. A second cochlear implant would be beneficial but access may be limited due to medical indications or cost. The Naida Link CROS is a tiny, ear-level device that picks up signals presented to the “non-hearing” ear and instantaneously transmits them to the cochlear implant system on the “hearing ear.” A recent study demonstrated that the Naída Link CROS provided immediate improvement in speech understanding in quiet and noise and a better overall hearing experience².

The Naida Link CROS device extends the Naida family of hearing solutions from AB and Phonak for severe-to-profound individuals. Utilizing the proprietary Binaural VoiceStream Technology™, an automatic wireless network is established between the Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter, Naida Link hearing aid or second Naida CI sound processor. This wireless network enables the sharing of control signals, and full-bandwidth audio streaming so that all cochlear implant recipients can benefit from hearing from both ears. The Naida Link CROS allows unilateral cochlear implant recipients to hear from wherever they want and walk into any listening situation with more confidence.  It is so discreet and easy to use that they can just switch it on to enjoy hearing from both sides and wear it without being noticed.

 “We are excited to bring CROS technology to cochlear implant users. This technology has been life-changing for individuals with single-sided deafness. We expect the same benefits for those individuals who hear from a single cochlear implant,” said Stefan Launer, Vice President of Science & Technology, Group Research & Development.  Tony Spahr, Director of Audiology and Product Management at Advanced Bionics, says “I’m genuinely excited about the difference this will make. Listening with one ear presents great challenges for communication. For individuals relying on a single cochlear implant, the Naída Link CROS is the best way to gain complete access to the sounds of the world.”

The Phonak Naída Link CROS is available in the United States and Canada starting today and in Europe starting this summer.

About Advanced Bionics
Advanced Bionics is a global leader in developing hearing solutions for individuals with severe-to-profound hearing loss who no longer benefit from hearing aids. Founded in 1993 and a subsidiary of the Sonova group since 2009, AB develops cutting-edge cochlear implant technology that allows recipients to hear their best.

AB offers the most sophisticated cochlear implant system on the market, the HiResolution™ Bionic Ear System, with five times more sound resolution than its competitors. It’s designed to help recipients hear in noisy settings and enjoy the full dimensions of music and tonal languages.

With sales in over 50 countries and a proven track record for developing high-performing, state-of-the-art products, AB’s talented group of technologists and professionals from all over the world are driven to succeed, work with integrity and stay firmly committed to quality.

About Phonak

In 2017, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, proudly celebrates its 70th anniversary. Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak was born in 1947 out of a passion for taking on the most difficult hearing challenges. Seventy years later, this passion remains. As the industry’s leading provider, we offer the broadest portfolio of life-changing hearing solutions. From pediatric to profound hearing loss, we remain committed to creating hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. We believe in creating a world where ‘Life is on’ for everyone.

For more information, please visit www.phonak.comwww.phonakpro.com

  1. Siburt, H., & Holmes, A. (2015). Bimodal Programming: A Survey of Current Clinical Practice. American Journal of Audiology,24(2), 243-9
  2. Mosnier, Use of a Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) System in Bilaterally Deaf Recipients with Unilateral Cochlear Implant, presented at the 13th European Symposium on Paediatric Cochlear Implantation, Lisbon, May 25th 2017

Media Contact:
Olivia Duarte
Advanced Bionics
661.362.1400
MediaInquiries@AdvancedBionics.com

Cochlear Nucleus 7 Introduction

Cochlear Nucleus 7 processor

Cochlear introduces the Nucleus 7 sound processor today!  Compatible with Nucleus CI24RE, CI500 and Profile Series Implants, key features include:

  • The N7 is the lightest sound processor on the market.
  • Can stream sound directly from compatible Apple devices. Bimodal users can stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the Nucleus 7 in one ear and a compatible ReSound hearing aid in the other ear.
  • Control, monitor and customize hearing on an iPhone or iPod touch through the Nucleus® Smart App available to download for free from the App Store®

The Nucleus 7 is expected to be available in the US in September 2017 for new candidates.  In October 2017 the processor will be available as an upgrade for current recipients in the US and Canada.  There is no information yet about availability in other regions, or on compatibility with Nucleus 22 series implants.

For more information, read the press release here.

Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sneak Preview

Get a sneak preview of the Cochlear Nucleus 7 processor!  Stay tuned here for breaking news on the N7 from Cochlear.

Information distilled by Bob MacPherson from an interview with Jan Janssen, Senior Vice President Research and Development, Cochlear Limited on MedicalResearch.com, dateline july 20, 2017:

* The Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor is the world’s first and only Made for iPhone cochlear implant sound processor, allowing users to stream sound from their iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® directly to their cochlear implant sound processor. It not only enhances the experience of talking on the phone, it also makes features like enjoying music or watching videos, as well as audio apps such as Maps or FaceTime, more easily accessible.

* The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is also the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear sound processor on the market.

* With the availability of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, Cochlear is also offering the first Made for iPhone Smart Bimodal Solution (the combination of a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other), enabling both hearing devices to provide synchronized streaming to both ears from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The Nucleus 7 Bimodal Solution is delivered by using a Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, a compatible ReSoundTM hearing aid and a paired iPhone or iPod to control functionality for both hearing devices.

* The Nucleus 7 Smart App gives parents confidence that they can monitor their child’s sound processor and ensure they are hearing. The device also includes a variety of features that make it easier on parents and caregivers including:
The new Hearing Tracker feature records coil-offs time (each time the sound processor coil does not detect the implant coil, such as if it has fallen off a child’s head) and time in speech (which optimizes the sound processor for different types of noise environments).
The Nucleus Smart App Find My Processor feature helps locate a lost sound processor by using Location Services to determine the last place the sound processor was connected to the paired iPhone or iPod touch, whether it has been lost on the playground, in the house or in the car.
Parents are also able to see battery status, adjust volume and change programs using the Nucleus Smart App without needing to touch the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor.

Advanced Bionics / Phonak Naída Bimodal Solution Seminars

Naida bimodalSave the date!  Advanced Bionics is hosting a series of seminars providing information about how Naída cochlear implant processors and Naída hearing aids.

Discover the benefits of AB’s newest innovation—the Naída bimodal hearing solution. This interactive, hands-on seminar is for anyone considering a cochlear implant and unilateral AB recipients. The event will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about the Naída bimodal hearing solution, wireless communication, and aural rehabilitation resources.

For more information, see the flyer.

CochlearImplantHELP has always provided news of new cochlear implant products, oftentimes before the official manufacturers’ announcements. We are pleased to announce local informational events about new products and features hosted by cochlear implant manufacturers. Please use our contact form to submit manufacturer flyers for consideration.