The Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor has been unveiled as the world's first "Made for iPhone" cochlear implant sound processor, and the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor available on the market.
Approved by the U.S. FDA in June, the device lets people stream sound directly from their iPhones and iPads, as well as control, monitor and customize their hearing from the Nucleus Smart App.
"This new sound processor builds on our long-standing commitment to help more people with hearing loss connect with others and live a full life," Chris Smith, Cochlear CEO and President, said in a statement.
The companion app includes a few handy features, such as the Hearing Tracker that records coil-offs time (time the sound processor coil does not detect the implant coil, such as if it has fallen off a child's head); and "time in speech," which measures the amount of time you spend in speech environments in hours, including FM and streaming. Also, there's the Find My Processor capability that helps locate a lost sound processor.
Alongside the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, Cochlear is also offering the first Made for iPhone Smart Bimodal Solution — the combination of a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other — enabling both hearing solutions to provide synchronized streaming to both ears from the iPhone.
Size-wise, the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is 25 percent smaller and 24 percent lighter than the previous generation Nucleus 6 Sound Processor. It also features Cochlear's industry-leading SmartSound iQ with SCAN and dual microphone technology, helping people to hear more clearly in any environment; along with a new, battery-friendly processing chip that delivers up to 50 percent longer battery life than the previous generation behind-the-ear sound processor.
The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is expected to start selling in September 2017 in the United States and Canada for those who are looking to receive a cochlear implant, while the Nucleus 7 Bimodal Solution will be available in the same period only in the United States.
In the United States and Canada, the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor will be available as an upgrade in October 2017 for current recipients with the following internal cochlear implants: Nucleus CI24RE, CI500 and Profile Series Implants.
According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 72 million people who could potentially benefit from the use of a hearing device including a cochlear implant or hearing aid.