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

Nucleus 7 Spy Photo

Nucleus 7 spy photo

Nucleus 7 (photo by Jannette Chalmers)

Compared with the Nucleus 6 (below) the Nucleus 7 appears to be slightly shorter vertically, while extending a bit more from front to back.  So far it appears that there will be only one version of the processor, the CP1000, without an accessory socket, similar to the CP920 version of the Nucleus 6 processor.

Nucleus 6

Nucleus 6 processor

Cochlear Receives FDA Approval for Nucleus 7 Processor

Image result for cochlear logo

Cochlear has received FDA approval for the Nucleus 7 (N7, or CP1000) BTE processor.  This doesn’t mean the processor is available today – it’s up to the company to determine when it will be available.

Preliminary features and differences between the N7 and N6 include:

  • Supports Hybrid (EAS) hearing
  • Made for iPhone compatibility
  • The telecoil is optimized for loops
  • Compatible with the Nucleus Smart App (iOS devices remote control app)
  • Remote control (volume, sensitivity, & program settings, telecoil, audio accessory)
  • Remote assistant replaced by iOS app – compatible Apple device required. Includes tracking function to help locate a lost processor.
  • One processor size option.  The N6 has two options, the larger of which allows for Direct Connect inputs.

The Nucleus 7 is not compatible with Nucleus 22 or Nucleus 24 implants.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

Time it Right! When Should I Get a Cochlear Implant?

ExploreTime cover.PNG

MED-EL has launched the latest issue of its flagship EXPLOREMAGAZINE, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of hearing loss through inspiring and extraordinary stories. In this edition, called EXPLORETIME, readers will discover the crucial role that time plays in our lives, and how it affects our decisions and structures our day. This is a great, FREE resource for hearing health professionals, parents and CI recipients.

One of the most interesting articles is about deciding when is the best time to get an implant for you or a family member.  Time It Right discusses considerations for babies, older children, and adults about the affects cochlear implants can have on quality of life at various stages.

The entire EXPLORETIME issue is available for your reading pleasure.

ACIA Resources for Cochlear Implants

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!  The American Cochlear Implant Alliance has put together some resources for people considering a cochlear implant.  Read more here.

The American Cochlear Implant Alliance is a not-for-profit membership organization created with the purpose of eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation by sponsoring research, driving heightened awareness and advocating for improved access to cochlear implants for patients of all ages across the US. ACI Alliance members are clinicians, scientists, educators, and others on cochlear implant teams as well as parent and consumer advocates.

Children’s Invention Competition for People with Hearing Loss

Kid inventors

MED-EL announces a global competition for kids age 6-11. Aspiring inventors and artists are invited to create a piece of artwork showcasing their invention to improve the quality of life of people living with hearing loss.

One U.S. winner will be awarded $1000 deposit into a college savings plan of their choice, and an entry into an international competition for a grand prize of a trip for the winner and an adult chaperone to MED-EL’s global headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria.

Cochlear Kanso Review

My Kanso Story

by Roger Smith

Hearing loss is something I’ve dealt with for over 40 years. I was first diagnosed at age five and my hearing declined for the next 20 odd years. Choosing the right hearing aid and ultimately the right cochlear implant can be a challenge. Lucky for me, my brother, four years older, has the same history of hearing loss, and I usually had him to rely on for feedback about new technology or functionality. Now, I’m in a position to provide some insights into the new Kanso Sound Processor from Cochlear!

A little bit about myself, I work for Cochlear in Sydney and help develop and market new processors and accessories. I love my job because I get to work with and learn from our customers and help make sure the new products best meet our customer needs. I’m doing this for me, my brother, my son and all of you, and I truly love it.

In my role, I had the opportunity to be part of first clinical trial for Kanso, where I tested the device for more than six months in Sydney, Australia.

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that everyone is different and what is best for one person might not be best for another.

Kanso has been developed for people who are looking for a sound processor that is discreet, smart and simple.

Kanso is for people who might be a bit self-conscious about wearing a processor, who want something to ‘set and forget,’ or who just don’t want anything on their ear, all while still receiving great hearing performance.

So here’s what I can tell you from my experience about hearing performance with Kanso.

As a recipient and customer myself, I really focus on hearing performance. I want to be able to hear my best in every situation. Whether it’s social or at work, I don’t want to miss out on anything.

So when I was asked to trial Kanso, I must admit, I was a little sceptical. Would this new processor allow me to hear as well as with my Nucleus 6® Sound Processor? I put it to the test.

I went to the noisy café and the windy beach, I listened to music and watched TV, attended lectures and conferences, and in every situation I switched back and forth between Nucleus 6 and Kanso.

I can honestly say I could not tell the difference. I felt like with Kanso I was hearing just as well as with Nucleus 6 and maybe, more importantly, my family couldn’t tell the difference either. My wife, who’s able to tell better than me when it’s time to change my microphone covers, didn’t even notice I had a new processor for three weeks!

Kanso has the same performance technology as Nucleus 6 (SmartSound® iQ), which includes SCAN*. SCAN is an automatic environment classifier that constantly scans the environment you’re in and changes the processor settings to make sure you’re in the right setting at the right time. It’s all I ever use with Nucleus 6 or Kanso.

Kanso also offers all the same True Wireless connectivity options as the Nucleus 6, which is very important to me. I use my Phone Clip, Mini Microphone and TV Streamer on an almost daily basis. Being able to stream directly to my processor in certain situations is a huge advantage for people with Cochlear implants.

I feel sometimes like I’ve gone from being the person in the room with a disadvantage to being the only one in the room with a real advantage.

* SNR-WR, WNR and SCAN are approved for use with any recipient ages 6 years and older, who is able to: 1) complete objective speech perception testing in quiet and in noise in order to determine and document performance: and 2) report a preference for different program settings.

What is Kanso?

Kanso is an integrated sound processor for a cochlear implant that has the processing unit (read: brains of the computer), the battery, and the coil all in one unit.  

The Kanso processor

The Kanso processor

It must be worn directly over the implant, so there are no cables to fiddle with and no earhook as it sits behind or above the ear.

To break it down further:

Processing Unit

This is the part that does the hard work. It gathers the sound through the dual microphones and processes the input, filtering out background noise and sounds that you don’t want to hear based on your situation. Kanso comes with the same industry leading sound processing capabilities as the Nucleus® 6 processor with SmartSound™ iQ.

Kanso also has SCAN* technology, which means the processor can analyze the environment you’re in and put your processor in the right program, no matter what the situation.

Processor Button

Kanso has only one button to control functionality of the processor. This was done to simplify the user interface and make it even easier to use. You can control on/off, programs and streaming accessories with this one button. For those who want even more control, Kanso is compatible with the Cochlear Remote Control and Remote Assistant.

Microphones

The microphones are where the sound comes into the processing unit. Kanso has two microphones. This is very important for background noise management because the processor can analyze the sound from the two microphones and determine which sounds came from behind. This ‘beamforming’ means you can hear better in noisy situations.

Coil

The coil is the part that communicates with the internal implant. It sends the ‘sound’ to the implant. Kanso has the coil built in so there is no coil cable to deal with.

Batteries

You use Kanso with zinc-air disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries would mean a bigger and heavier processor, which is not something customers wanted. With two zinc-air batteries, Kanso is designed to deliver the same battery life as Nucleus 6.

Accessories

Kanso comes with retention accessories like the nearly invisible safety line for everyday use and the headband for more vigorous activities.

True Wireless

Kanso is fully compatible with the Cochlear True Wireless™ devices – Mini Microphones, Phone Clip and TV Streamer – so you get even greater performance in challenging situations and the convenience of no wires.

Real Life Experience

By now you’re probably thinking ‘great, so you can hear well but how well does it stay on? Is it really discreet? What about swimming and sports?’

Here’s how I answer these questions after six months of experience with Kanso:

What’s retention really like? Does it fall off?

Straight away, people ask me about the retention of Kanso. Does it fall off? No. I’ve never had a situation where the Kanso just fell off my head.

I use the same magnet strength (2) as with my behind-the-ear (BTE) sound processor and didn’t have any problems with Kanso falling off.

Did I accidentally knock it off? Yes. I had to break a few habits. With a BTE, if I had an itch, I could just flick the coil off and scratch and the BTE would keep everything on my ear. With Kanso, I had to remember to hold the processor while I scratched. This took me a week or two to change.

I also had to be a bit more careful changing a shirt or putting on a hat, but this was not a big deal to me. When wearing a hat, I did have to loosen the band a bit, but it didn’t seem to impact my hearing when I had the hat on.

Kanso comes with a clear safety line (like a fishing line) that you can attach to your hair with a clip or another, longer line that you can clip to your shirt. I used the short one in my hair, and I must say I was really hesitant to wear a hair clip, but it was pretty much invisible and surprisingly easy to use. Clip it in in the morning and pop it off at night – too easy!

Kanso with Safety Line and Clip

Kanso with Safety Line and Clip

How’s the battery life?

Battery life with two disposable zinc air batteries was the same for me (around 62 hours because I’m a low power user).

How simple is Kanso to use?

As simple as I found my Nucleus 6 to be, Kanso was just a little bit simpler. I use a hearing aid mould with my BTE for retention, and with Kanso, I didn’t have to spend a few seconds each day putting the earmould in and positioning the coil. And having only one button and SCAN* means Kanso is truly a ‘set and forget’ processor.

Can I use Kanso in water?

Kanso comes with a waterproof accessory that covers the processor and allows you to swim, snorkel, exercise and more.

Aqua+ with Kanso inside

Aqua+ with Kanso inside

I found the hearing performance when using the Aqua+ to be slightly less, but I could still understand, communicate and have fun with my kids and hear safety alarms or whistles.

If you’re doing anything besides just relaxing in the water, you’ll need to use something to keep the Kanso in the Aqua+ on your head. I used a neoprene swim cap (Nammu), but there are lots of options out there, and the Aqua+ has notches for goggle straps if you prefer that. A small price to be able to hear in the water!

How discreet is Kanso?

I’m not really too worried about people seeing my processor since I’ve been wearing something on my ears for 35 years. But if I was concerned about it, Kanso would be perfect for me. I have shorter style hair and Kanso is nearly invisible when I put it on.

Kanso with safety line attached

Kanso with safety line attached

Can I wear a hat or helmet?

As with any implant and processor combination, implant location on your head plays a role in how well (or not) hats and helmets fit. My implant is located just above and behind my ear – right on the ‘hat line.’ I find that I can still wear my hats and my bike helmet but with the hats, I need to loosen a little bit or there is a little too much pressure. This only bothers me in the wind as a loose hat comes off easier.

Is Kanso right for me?

This is the one question I can’t answer. Only you and your hearing health professional(s) can decide what is best for you

Personally, I would be very happy with either Kanso or Nucleus 6. I’m not worried about discretion, and I get great hearing performance and connectivity with both.

Kanso and Nucleus 6

Here is a comparison summary of Nucleus 6 and Kanso:

Both:

  • 2 microphones and SmartSound iQ and SCAN
  • True Wireless compatible
  • Aqua+ for complete waterproofing
  • Dust and splash proof
  • CR230 Remote Assistant and CR210 Remote control compatible

Nucleus 6:

  • Offers Hybrid™ Hearing with acoustic component attached
  • Can use disposable or rechargeable batteries
  • Telecoil optimised for phone use
  • Compatible with all Nucleus implant types

Kanso:

  • No acoustic component
  • Disposable batteries only
  • Nothing on the ear
  • Telecoil optimised for room loops

Some considerations when choosing between Nucleus 6 and Kanso:

  • Since Kanso is not worn on the ear, people with glasses might find Kanso works better, especially if you have thick temple pieces on your glasses.
  • While both processors are compatible with the Phone Clip, the Nucleus 6 processor telecoil is optimised for phone use. I used Kanso with the mics alone on the phone for quick conversations with family and friends but much preferred the Phone Clip for long calls or calls for work.
  • Consider battery type and how important that is to you.
  • If you wear hats a lot, consider taking one to your audiologist appointment to try on with Kanso because it slightly thicker than the Nucleus 6 coil. While I could still wear hats, I needed to adjust them slightly

Talk with your  hearing health professional and be honest about what you hope to achieve with your processor. I hope hearing about my experience has proven helpful if you’re thinking about Kanso. Good luck with your hearing journey!

Kanso User Guide

About the Author

roger-head-shotRoger Smith, MSPT has been working in the field of healthcare for over 18 years. He is currently a Global Product Manager with Cochlear Ltd., spending the past 5 years in Sound Processors and Connectivity. As an employee and an active volunteer, Roger draws on his unique experience as a cochlear implant recipient to help improve the lives of those with hearing loss.