MED-EL introduces world’s first cochlear implant powered by wireless charging

MED-EL, a leading provider of hearing implant systems, has today launched the world’s first cochlear implant audio processor to feature wireless charging at the 61st Austrian National Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Conference. Utilizing a ground-breaking design, the RONDO 2 frees implant users from the need to regularly replace batteries, making the device easy to use, more cost effective and friendlier to the environment.

Wireless charging allows users to power their implant with 18 hours of battery life for each four hour charge, giving users a full day of hearing from one overnight charge. It also saves users from the hassle of replacing the disposable batteries that power the device. In a single year, powering the device every day would require more than 700 batteries, costing in excess of £330.

“We are so used to charging our devices at home overnight,” says Gregor Dittrich, Director of Product Management for MED-EL. “You charge your phone and tablet in this way, so why not your audio processor? It’s the next logical step for cochlear implants and we are so excited to be pioneering the way forward.”

Cochlear implants are small implantable devices that allow people with profound hearing loss to experience the sensation of sound by electrically stimulating the inner ear.

RONDO 2 is the external part of the implant, attached magnetically on the head, and functions as an audio processor, picking up and transmitting sound to the internal implant. The RONDO 2 uniquely combines a transmitter coil, control unit and power source into a single device – a single unit processor – meaning it can be worn with glasses or hidden completely under hair.

RONDO 2, and its accessories, will available from the end of 2017.

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