MED-EL introduces BONEBRIDGETM - the world's first active bone conduction implant system
TORONTO, May 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, for the first time in more than
four decades, an Ontario nurse and mother of six can clearly hear
music, voices, laughter and more following a breakthrough surgical
procedure for North America involving the world's first BONEBRIDGETM active bone conduction implant system.
Kelly Dickson, 51, a patient of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in
London, Ont., underwent surgery April 25 involving new technology known
as BONEBRIDGETM, the world's first active bone conduction implant system, developed by
MED-EL Medical Electronics of Austria. Following the hour-long surgery
last month, the device was activated successfully today at LHSC.
"I am thrilled with my new hearing abilities. With Bonebridge I am now
able to rediscover what I lost and experience all the joys that come
with hearing," says Kelly, of Cambridge, Ont. "As a nurse, hearing is
an important part of my job and with Bonebridge, I look forward to
being able to use my stethoscope again without my conventional hearing
aid barrier and not run the risk of getting ear infections with
constant removing and replacing. I have a new freedom and I feel
empowered that I will be able to provide exceptional care for years to
The new Bonebridge technology allows people with hearing impairments
such as conductive and mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness to
hear the full range of sounds. It is also the first intact-skin
implant, designed to reduce the risk of infection.
Up to now, patients with hearing impairments could be fitted with
bone-anchored hearing aids. These hearing aids are associated with a
comparatively high rate of complications and the devices can be complex
to handle for patients. Bonebridge is the latest in intact,
under-the-skin implants which have been tried and tested for years for
other hearing implants and stands out for their low complication rates
and their ease of use.
"This technology offers patients with hearing impairments a significant
improvement in their overall quality of life," says Dr. Sumit Agrawal,
MD, FRCSC, surgeon at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). "The
surgery was a success, the operative time was less than 60 minutes, and
the patient went home the same day."
"The Bonebridge activation went smoothly and the patient was a very
pleased with the hearing results. This is a really exciting solution
for our patients, and we look forward to continued success with the
Bonebridge in the future."
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 bone (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 the first active hearing implant where no surgical access
to the middle ear is necessary.
Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO and CTO of MED-EL worldwide, states: "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. We consider this new development a
great success. The Bonebridge is the culmination of decades of
experience gathered in the development of hearing implant solutions."
More information about the technology and clinics performing this
surgery is available at http://www.medel.com/ca/.
Austria-based MED-EL Medical Electronics is a leading provider of
hearing implant systems worldwide. The family-owned business is one of
the pioneers in the industry. The two Austrian scientists Ingeborg and
Erwin Hochmair developed the world's first microelectronic-multichannel
Cochlear-Implant in 1977. The cochlear implant was and remains the
first replacement of a human sense, the sense of hearing. In 1990 they
laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company when they
hired their first employees. To date, the company has grown to more
than 1400 employees around the world.
Today MED-EL offers the widest range of implantable solutions worldwide
to treat various degrees of hearing loss: cochlear and middle ear
implant systems, EAS (combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation) hearing
implant system and auditory brainstem implants as well as the world´s
first active bone conduction implant. People in about 100 countries
enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a product from MED-EL. www.medel.com
Video with caption: "Video: Interview with Kelly Dickson, first BONEBRIDGE patient in North America". Video available at: http://youtu.be/bMfzQsCeWw8
Video with caption: "Video: How the BONEBRIDGE works". Video available at: http://youtu.be/ng63WZGGVD000
Image with caption: "BONEBRIDGE implant and audio processor (CNW Group/MED-EL)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130510_C5682_PHOTO_EN_26594.jpg
Image with caption: "BONEBRIDGE implant (CNW Group/MED-EL)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130510_C5682_PHOTO_EN_26596.jpg
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