Severe hearing loss cannot always be corrected with hearing aids. In such cases, complex surgeries are used to install a special implant. What if new technology could give us better, less invasive options? New technology from the Fraunhofer Institute can do just that, providing the best of both worlds: Huge improvements and simple installation.
Fraunhofer’s device is also an implant, but one that is so small and efficient that it can be installed quickly and easily. This makes it a prime choice for the elderly or disabled for whom major surgery is not an option.
“The big advance is the German institute’s new “electro-acoustic transducer,” which translates electrical signals into vibrations. A microphone and relay outside the ear send audio and power over a wireless optical link to the inner ear, where the transducer picks it up and passes it on.”
This is very similar to how existing implants operate, but the new technology is significantly less bulky, allowing it to be installed with one small incision, rather than hours-long surgeries.
There is much work to be done on perfecting this new technology. These devices must be reliable and last a long time without maintenance or replacement. Testing is scheduled for 2014, after which it will have to be approved by the necessary authorities before being available for general issue.Sharing is Caring!