MED-EL has introduced Bonebridge, the world’s first active bone conduction implant system, according to the company.
The new Bonebridge technology allows people with conductive and mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness to hear the full range of sounds utilizing the first intact-skin hearing implant, which is also designed to reduce the risk of infection after surgery.
|MED-EL’s new Bonebridge active implant sytem.|
Up to now, patients with hearing impairments could be fitted with bone-anchored hearing aids. However, these hearing aids can often have complications, and the devices can be complex to handle for some patients. Bonebridge is designed to be an intact, under-the-skin implant, a type that has been used for other hearing implants and is known to have low complication rates and to be easy to use.
Bonebridge consists of two components: an implant under the skin behind the ear and an audio processor to receive sound waves. The audio processor records the sound and converts it into signals, which are then transferred through the skin to the implant. The implant is embedded in the temporal bone and converts the signals received into mechanical vibrations that are then transmitted to the surrounding bone. The bone then conducts these vibrations to the inner ear where they are converted to nerve signals and transmitted as impulses to the auditory nerve, similar to the natural hearing process.
The Bonebridge technology is reportedly the first active hearing implant where no surgical access to the middle ear is necessary.
See this video animation of the new system:
Dr Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO and CTO of MED-EL worldwide, said: “Our innovative development of the Bonebridge will considerably improve the lives of patients. Due to the intact-skin design, the protective function of the skin is preserved.”
More information about the technology and clinics performing this surgery is available at www.medel.com/ca/.