Cochlear acquires exclusive licence to Artificial Intelligence assistant to support better, outcomes-based cochlear implant fitting

26 May, 2017

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the world leader in implantable hearing solutions, has entered into an exclusive licensing and development agreement with Otoconsult NV for its artificial intelligence fitting assistant FOX (Fitting to Outcomes eXpert). This technology is expected to enable a faster and more consistent fitting of cochlear implants to deliver the best possible patient outcomes. This investment will strengthen Cochlear's portfolio of tools and services to be offered to clinical partners to improve patient care.

Unlike other fitting methods, FOX uses speech perception and other patient outcome tests as an input to its fitting optimization algorithm, in order to maximise outcomes for patients. Outcomes testing is conducted using the Auditory Speech Sounds Evaluation (ASSE) test suite, also developed by Otoconsult, which can be directly linked from the clinician’s computer to the Cochlear speech processors using a proprietary link.

FOX then provides the additional opportunity to analyse the patient’s test results and previous MAPs against other anonymised MAPs to provide its recommendation of the best possible MAP for that patient. Working in this way expedites the cochlear implant fitting process to take the measured results even closer to an ideal hearing target.

FOX is the only artificial intelligence fitting assistant using anonymised outcomes data and the results of other MAPs stored in its proprietary database. FOX will continually improve its predictive ability as each new MAP is created and performance data is added to its database.

"FOX's artificial intelligence assistant will provide clinicians – no matter where they are in the world – a platform to speed up the cochlear implant fitting process while also helping them achieve the best possible patient outcome," said Cochlear CEO and President, Chris Smith. "Partnering with Otoconsult, we hope to strengthen our technology offering to clinical care professionals, giving them greater consistency of outcomes with this cutting-edge solution."

"The FOX technology will change how we program cochlear implants," said William H. Shapiro, AuD, CCC-A, Clinical Associate Professor in Otolaryngology and Supervising Audiologist, NYU Cochlear Implant Center, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY. "The audiologist can perform a set of simple, yet critical tasks, where the patient is an active participant, to provide the evidence for target-based fitting much like hearing aid verifications today. Additionally, it allows the clinician to take the patient out of the audiometric booth providing a better patient experience."

Under the terms of the agreement, Cochlear will licence FOX and a proprietary link to the ASSE performance testing suite exclusively over a five-year period. During that time the services of Otoconsult and its founder, Dr. Paul Govaerts, will be retained to further develop and enhance the application with Cochlear technologies.

About Otoconsult NV

Otoconsult NV is a software and consultancy company focused on developing ground-breaking solutions for professionals in the field of audiology, otorhinolaryngology and acoustics. Otoconsult is based in Antwerp, Belgium, and is a subsidiary of the Eargroup, which is majority-owned by its founder, Professor and Dr. Paul Govaerts, an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist and Audiologist. Dr. Govaerts has been a continuous innovator of clinical solutions and automation in the cochlear implant industry for more than 20 years.

About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of 3,000 people and invests more than AUS$100 million a year in research and development. Products include hearing systems for cochlear, bone conduction and acoustic implants. Over 450,000 people of all ages, across more than 100 countries, now hear because of Cochlear.

About Cochlear Implants

The trade name for cochlear implants manufactured by Cochlear is the Cochlear™ Nucleus® series cochlear implants. The approved indications for the use of Cochlear Nucleus series cochlear implants is the treatment of moderate to profound hearing loss. Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss. They will be able to advise on a suitable solution for the hearing loss condition. All products should be used only as directed by your medical practitioner or health professional. Not all Cochlear products are available in all countries.

Further information Analysts/Investors
Kristina Devon
Head of Investor Relations
(+61) 2 9611 6691

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