Advanced Bionics (AB) announced that their HiRes™ Ultra 3D cochlear implant has been awarded the MedTech Breakthrough Award 2019 for Best Overall Medical Device Solution. Built on the HiRes Ultra platform and said to be developed by the internal research and development team at AB, the new implant is said to be a “hassle-free, pain-free” choice for recipients who may need to undergo MRI examinations at some point during their lifetime.
“We are proud and grateful to receive this prestigious award for the Best Overall Medical Device Solution,” said Victoria Carr-Brendel, PhD, group vice president, cochlear implants (CI), Sonova. “It is a resounding recognition of the ingenuity and hard work of the people at Advanced Bionics over the last years. The new magnet technology in our Ultra 3D implants is improving the quality of life for many of our CI wearers.”
According to AB, the Ultra 3D multi-magnet assembly is capable of aligning with the magnetic field of the MRI scanner irrespective of patient orientation or movement. This reportedly allows adult and pediatric cochlear implant wearers to safely undergo high-resolution imaging, such as 3.0 Tesla MRIs, without surgery or head bandaging, without feeling pain or discomfort, and without restrictions to the orientation of the head during the MRI procedure.
Prior to the development of MRI-compatible CI magnet technology, wearers and healthcare professionals had to contend with the magnetic field from MRI machines exerting force on the CI magnet inside the head, causing torque and subsequent pain. Although these problems were managed to some extent using head bandaging and/or careful alignment of the MRI field with respect to the CI, it was common practice to remove magnets for high-resolution MRI examinations, requiring outpatient surgery and interrupting the patient’s hearing during the process.
The multi-magnet assembly is designed to help withstand repeated exposure to MRI procedures without any loss of magnetic strength or mobility of the magnet assembly components.