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Magnet technology means new possibilities for cochlear implant users

New milestone in hearing implant technology

Tuesday 24 June
Magnet technology means new possibilities for cochlear implant users

- June 24 at 8:49 AM

Medical devices company, MED-EL, yesterday announced the launch of the SYNCHRONY cochlear implant device, a groundbreaking hearing implant system that harnesses advancements in magnetic research to allow patients to undergo routine MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans, without the need for multiple surgeries.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electrical device which provides the sensation of hearing to those who have a profound or severe hearing loss. Currently over 10,000 people in the UK have a cochlear implant and until now, limitations in technology meant that users were required to have the magnet within their implant surgically removed, and then reinserted, prior to and after every high-resolution, 3.0 Tesla MRI scan.

Enabling the device to remain safely in position during an MRI are rotatable internal magnets, which have been specifically designed to automatically re-align to compensate for the magnetic field of an MRI scan. Despite this, the device remains the lightest and most compact on the market to date.
Announced at the 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants, the SYNCHRONY CI system also incorporates a new water-resistant audio processer designed to mimic the processing of sound more naturally – the part of the system that converts external sounds into electrical signals. In addition to utilising wind noise reduction and automatic sound management technologies to enable users to communicate in a variety of environments, water resistance allows wearers to live as actively as they desire.

“Never before has the market seen a cochlear implant that doesn’t require surgical removal of the magnet for a high-resolution, 3.0 Tesla MRI scan,” said Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO of MED-EL. 

“During recent years we had the chance to introduce many innovations and I am glad that with the SYNCHRONY we are setting the next milestone. Research and the development of our products is the main target, which MED-EL has followed from the beginning. With the SYNCHRONY we once again open up possibilities for many more people suffering hearing loss.”

The SYNCHRONY CI system is available in all countries that recognise the CE mark.

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