June 2019 Biospace       

Advanced Bionics (AB) announces that their HiRes™ Ultra 3D Cochlear Implant has been awarded the MedTech Breakthrough Award 2019 for Best Overall Medical Device Solution. The new implant is the hassle-free and pain-free choice for recipients who may need to undergo MRI examinations at some point during their lifetime. Even for high resolution MRI scans, there is no need to surgically remove the new multi-magnet assembly and no requirement for head bandaging, meaning no hearing downtime for the patient.

“We are proud and grateful to receive this prestigious award for the Best Overall Medical Device Solution,” says 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”.

The innovative Ultra 3D multi-magnet assembly is capable of aligning with the magnetic field of the MRI scanner irrespective of patient orientation or movement. This allows adult and paediatric 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.

MRI examinations are becoming increasingly commonplace as a diagnostic tool for a wide variety of medical conditions. 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 out-patient surgery and interrupting the patient’s hearing during the process.

With the HiRes Ultra 3D, AB developed new multi-magnet technology that is compatible with MRI scans, giving CI wearers the peace of mind for any current and future health issues that may necessitate an MRI examination. Furthermore, the multi-magnet assembly is designed to withstand repeated exposure to MRI procedures without any loss of magnetic strength or mobility of the magnet assembly components.

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