Ear Implants for the Deaf with No Strings Attached
To bypass the drawbacks of external cochlear implants, Australian-based company Cochlear is collaborating with a Colorado-based company called Otologics to develop a fully implantable hearing aid. With this aid, implantees would be able to hear while swimming, showering, and sleeping—activities that are highly impractical, if not impossible, with external cochlear implants. However, while an internal implant would ideally provide 24/7 access to sound, the prototype would also need to be surgically replaced at least every ten years. Nevertheless, Cochlear and Otologics hope to have a viable product within five years.
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