Oct 2017 Voxy.co.nz

For the first time, over 22,000 people living in New Zealand with severe hearing loss can access the CochlearTM Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, 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. People living with severe to profound hearing loss can now reach the highest level of hearing performance, streaming sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to their sound processor. The Nucleus 7 sound processor is 25 percent smaller and 24 percent lighter- than the previous generation Nucleus 6 Sound Processor. In addition users now have an easier way to control, monitor and customise their hearing from their iPhone or iPod touch through the free Nucleus Smart App.

"For people with hearing loss we know the ability to talk and hear on their iPhone is incredibly important. For the first time, the direct streaming provided in the Nucleus 7 sound processor allows for phone calls, listening to music in high-quality stereo sound, watching videos and having FaceTime calls to be seamlessly streamed straight to their cochlear implant," said Janet Menzies, General Manager, Cochlear Australia and New Zealand. A study of cochlear implant recipients participating in a trial of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor found participants reported the new sound processor was easier to control/monitor with the Nucleus Smart App than with a remote control. The study also reported the majority of participants enjoyed listening to music (85 per cent enjoyable or very enjoyable) with the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor. Cochlear is also offering the first Made for iPhone Smart Bimodal Solution (the combination of a hearing aid in one ear and a cochlear implant in the other), enabling both hearing solutions to stream from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.6- The Smart Nucleus 7 Bimodal Solution is delivered with a compatible ReSound hearing aid and a paired iPhone or iPod touch to control functionality for both hearing devices.

In August, the New Zealand government acknowledged the "life changing" benefits that Cochlear implants can offer and boosted the funding for New Zealand’s adult Cochlear Implant Programme to $14.93 million for 2017/2018. This additional spending will increase the total number of funded cochlear implants for adults in New Zealand from 40 to 100 operations for 2017/2018, a rise of 150 per cent.

The Nucleus 7 features the SmartSound iQ with SCAN and dual microphone technology, helping people to hear more clearly in any environment. From a busy restaurant to outdoors in blustering wind, the technology prioritises voices over background sounds. The Nucleus 7 offers a range of features with the Nucleus Smart App, exclusively available for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. The new Hearing Tracker records coil-offs time (each 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 spent in speech environments in hours, including FM and streaming). The Find My Processor feature of the Nucleus Smart App helps locate a lost processor by using Location Services to determine the last place the processor was connected to the paired iPhone or iPod touch, whether it has been lost on the playground, in the house or in the car.

Hearing loss is often not thought of as a debilitating health issue. However, unaddressed hearing loss can impact all aspects of life, from the development of speech and language, to education, career and social interaction. For children, early intervention is crucial so that they can develop oral communication and sound detection skills at the same rate as hearing children. In adulthood, hearing loss is associated with depression, dementia and increased risk of poor health, as well as greater unemployment. "A number of my patients have had their hearing gradually decline - sometimes it’s not immediately noticeable and so they may take a long time before seeking help. I would encourage anyone concerned with their or their loved ones hearing to not delay and make an appointment for a hearing test," said Caroline Selvaratnam, Audiologist, University of Auckland Clinics. Increasingly, evidence is showing cochlear implants for adults as an effective intervention for a much wider group of candidates than had previously been thought. Today more than 450,000 people around the world can hear thanks to Cochlear’s technology.


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