Cochlear implants and hearing aids
Cochlear implant technology has developed significantly since its first application in the 1970s. The HEARing CRC and its predecessors have contributed significantly to this through its connection with Cochlear Ltd, via development of:
- the C124M, C124R and C124RE cochlear implants
- the contour and contour advance cochlear implant electrode arrays (the contour array is now the most widely used electrode design and has been provided to over 35,000 implant users worldwide)
- the ESPrit and ESPrit 3G ear level sound processors
- CView (a software program for position analysis of cochlear implants using radiography)
- Whisper and Adaptive Dynamic Range Optimisation™ (ADRO) sound coding software
New approaches to implants in which the HEARing CRC is involved include:
- totally implantable cochlear implant systems (TIKI device) - exploring the feasibility of cochlear implant recipients gaining benefit in situations where the external speech processor cannot be used, for example in physical sports or the shower - early outcomes of a first in human trial with three adult implantees suggested shortcomings with microphone design.
- new experimental design ‘Hybrid L’ cochlear implant electrode array that will enable implant recipients to benefit from the combined use of electrical and acoustic stimulation in the same ear.
NAL-NL1 is non linear hearing aid fitting software for prescription fitting of hearing aids that maximises speech intelligibility for hearing aid users. This software was developed in association with Australian Hearing’s, National Acoustic Lab.
Commercialisation: NAL-NL1 is now licensed to 13 major international hearing aid companies and audiology equipment manufacturers and is used to fit more hearing aids worldwide than any other system.
CRC HEAR worked closely with Siemens to develop novel trainable hearing aid technology.
Commercialisation: Trainable hearing aid technology is being implemented into Siemens’ next generation of hearing aids and is expected to have a significant future impact on cost effective hearing aid fitting. Work in this technology will also continue through the HEARing CRC.
This advanced digital signal processing software produces improved speech perception and sound quality in cochlear implants and hearing aids.
- Please contact commercial partner Cochlear Ltd for further information on its use in cochlear implants
- The patented technology is currently marketed by Dynamic Hearing under the ADRO® brand. ADRO® is a registered trade mark of Dynamic Hearing Pty Ltd.
CRC HEAR carried out contract research for the Swiss company Phonak towards the development of Naída hearing systems. Naida is described as “an UltraPower hearing system that uses digital technology for consumers with significant hearing loss. Combining exceptional audibility and clarity with wireless capabilities, packed in an unbelievably small water resistant casing."