Cochlear Ltd. Gets FDA Approval For Water-Resistant Rechargeable Batteries for Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implant recipients will be able to enjoy visits to the beach and swimming pool following the recent approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the new water-resistant rechargeable batteries in Cochlear Limited’s new Nucleus 5 cochlear implant systems.
Cochlear’s next-generation Nucleus 5 system, introduced in 2009, features the industry’s smallest behind-the-ear sound processor, the thinnest implant, a wireless remote assistant that makes it easy to change program settings, and an “Autophone” sensor that knows when you are on the telephone and automatically switches from the external microphone to telecoil reception. Cochlear also claims it has documentation of superior speech comprehension with the new system.
All those advanced features and slick packaging won a prestigious Red Dot design award for Cochlear Ltd. in June. But when you consider how important it is not to worry about getting caught in the rain or how much fun it can be to hear the waves splashing when you’re taking a dip in the ocean, it’s no wonder the water-resistant feature is getting so much attention. Cochlear says the Nucleus 5 device can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.
“No other cochlear implant system has ever come close to providing patients with this level of confidence around water,” said Chris Smith, president of Cochlear Americas. “With other cochlear implant systems, patients are forced to weigh the risk of accidentally dropping their sound processor in water and destroying it versus the benefit of hearing in and around water. With Nucleus 5, when using our new rechargeable battery option, there are no risks to weigh.”
When you think of the number of deaf children who use cochlear implants from infancy, it’s gratifying to know there’s one more activity of a normal childhood they’ll be able to enjoy. It’s also gratifying news for harried parents who must make sure the precious equipment that gives their kids the gift of hearing survives the rough-and-tumble of a normal active childhood.