Cochlear’s Satellite Symposium at the 31st Politzer Meeting

Sound Connection | Issue 29 | March 2018

At the 31st Politzer Meeting in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, five world know clinical experts presented their latest research on implantable hearing solutions during Cochlear’s Satellite Symposium on 21st February 2018.

Dr. Brian Kaplan (Greater Baltimore Medical Center, USA) outlined the current challenges in making implantable hearing devices the ‘Standard of Care’. He referenced other disease areas such as sleep apnea and proposed solutions to ensure people with hearing loss have access to the appropriate treatment depending on their disease state.

The latest outcomes with the Cochlar™ Baha® DermaLock™ Implant in a series of 172 subjects were reported by Prof Jaydip Ray (University of Sheffield, UK). He said that implantation of the Baha DermaLock is a quick surgical procedure with minor skin complications and an excellent option for patients who cannot have transcutaneous implants for various reasons.

Two presentations focused on hearing preservation with the world’s thinnest full length perimodiolar Cochlear Nucleus® CI532 Electrode: Dr. Henrik Smeds (Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden) showed results from 63 adult and 111 pediatric cases and concluded that short term hearing preservation is possible with CI532. Prof. Angel Ramos Macias (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) provided empirical evidence that the better perimodiolar position of the CI532 electrode resulted in better electrode discrimination. He demonstrated using intra-operative Electrocochleography that cochlear microphonics can be preserved in 61% of cases and reported that residual hearing preservation is possible even twelve months postoperatively.

Many CI recipients use a hearing aid in the other ear. Prof. Ulrich Hoppe (University Clinic Erlangen, Germany) reported from his experience in 148 bimodal listeners that integration of electric and acoustic inputs is possible independent of the degree of hearing loss resulting in an average benefit of the hearing aid of 2 dB for sentences in noise.

Jan Janssen (Chief Technology Officer, Cochlear, Sydney, Australia) gave an outlook of Cochlear’s Technology Pipeline and showed how the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, the world’s first and only Made for iPhone® Sound Processor facilitates bimodal listening through wireless streaming. Connectivity to the Cloud will be transforming clinical care in the future and enable quality assurance and surveillance of outcomes by the recipient and the clinic.

Finally, Dr. David Cade (Chief Medical Officer, Cochlear, Sydney, Australia) closed the Satellite Symposium with a call to action in relation to the World Hearing Day on 3rd March 2018. According to the WHO, 466 million people presently live with disabling hearing loss. The rising number of people with hearing loss could be mitigated by identifying leading causes of hearing loss, implementing preventative actions and making available high quality, affordable hearing devices.