July 23, 2014

The Sound Of Innovation For Deafness

Many deaf or near-deaf people have been helped with cochlear implants, but MIT in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have developed a new, low-power signal-processing chip that works like a cochlear implant without the bulky external hardware. The implant works for eight hours between charges, which is done wirelessly without the need for the bulky battery pack outside the ear. And the prototype engineers showed at a recent conference plugs into a smartphone and can charge within two minutes. Another plus, it needs no outside microphone. But as with all new technology, there are still some growing pains. Current cochlear implant surgery takes between an hour and an hour and a half, while this new technology takes 3 to 4 hours to implant.

[ Read the Article: New Hearing Implant Uses Less Power, No External Hardware ]

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