MED-EL announced that WaterWear covers for the OPUS 2 and SONNET processors will be available late summer 2016 in the United States. Note that Zinc-Air batteries do not work in an airtight environment, so most likely 675 LR44 button cells will need to be used in conjunction with WaterWear.
In related news, MED-EL also received FDA approval for a rechargeable battery for the SONNET processor, which may work in conjunction with the WaterWear, making 675 LR44 batteries unnecessary. Also, a Mini Battery Pack and Cable have been approved for the SONNET, which may be an off-ear power solution unrelated to WaterWear.
Here are some FAQs about the new MED-EL SONNET processor, SYNCHRONY implant, and WaterWear accessory for RONDO.
Some interesting new details are included:
The SYNCHRONY implant achieves its high 3.0T MRI rating (in currently approved countries) by the use of an internal magnet that can rotate due to the magnetic field of the MRI.
The WaterWear accessory is intended to be used with rechargeable 675 batteries.
In the ‘truth in advertising’ department, the FAQs says that the processor is the ‘smallest and lightest audio processor for cochlear implants.’ The thickness of the SONNET processor is listed at 5.9 mm. While the narrow ends of the bevel around the edge of the processor are indeed 5.9 mm, the body is 9.3 mm thick. Both the 9.3 mm thickness and the 56.7 mm height are greater than the corresponding dimensions of the competition. Dimensions are specified in this MED-EL document.
MED-EL joins the pool party with a waterproof cover for the RONDO processor! It looks like a two-piece conforming bag with a sticky seal. Thanks to Bob MacPherson for pointing out that the IP68 rating implies a truly waterproof seal, which means the zinc-air batteries would likely need to be replaced by 675 LR44 button cells.
A small hole is provided for a tether. We will have to wait and see if MED-EL will provide the tether, or if is up to the user.
The Nammu Swim Hat looks like a great option for keeping the RONDO in place while using the WaterWear accessory!