Cochlear: FDA approves new Nucleus Profile Plus implant series with Android smartphone connectivity
Monday June 17, 2019
CENTENNIAL -- Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), a global leader in implantable hearing solutions, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of the new Cochlear™ Nucleus®Profile™ Plus Series Cochlear Implant and the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor's new built-in connectivity featuring direct streaming with compatible Android smartphones.
With the Nucleus Profile Plus Implant, cochlear implant recipients have easier access to 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla (T) MRI scans without the need to remove the internal magnet or use a head wrap.
Cochlear said the Nucleus Profile Plus Implant is designed for safe access to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans today and in the future. With the Nucleus Profile Plus Implant, cochlear implant recipients have easier access to 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla (T) MRI scans without the need to remove the internal magnet or use a head wrap, the company said.
The new implant is built off Cochlear's Nucleus Profile Series Implant, which maintains an accessible magnet if removal is ever required.
Cochlear was the first manufacturer to introduce an accessible magnet feature to cochlear implants in 1997, allowing the magnet to be removed if required in a simple outpatient procedure before the MRI takes place.
The easy-to-remove magnet will continue to provide cochlear implant recipients with lifetime access to MRI if their healthcare needs or imaging technology changes over time.
The Nucleus Profile Plus Implant is built on Cochlear's unrivaled cochlear implant reliability record of the Profile Implant and the entire Cochlear Nucleus implant portfolio. The Nucleus Profile Plus Implant also includes a thin design, providing cochlear implant recipients the potential of a better cosmetic outcome and less time in surgery.
"For more than two decades, Cochlear has been pleased to provide Nucleus Cochlear Implant recipients with access to MRIs," said Tony Manna, Cochlear Americas president.
"Now with the approval of the Nucleus Profile Plus Implant, we are able to provide our cochlear implant recipients MRI access without the need to remove the internal magnet or needing a head wrap at 1.5 and 3.0 T, improving the experience for both healthcare professionals and their patients.
“We are delivering this new innovation without sacrificing our longstanding cochlear implant reliability track record, our thin implant design and the easy to access magnet that ensures our recipients have continued MRI access now and in the future."
With FDA approval, as well as Health Canada's approval of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor's expanded connectivity features, Cochlear is also the first cochlear implant manufacturer to enable access of direct audio streaming from Android devices to its cochlear implant sound processor without any intermediary device or attachments needed to be added to the sound processor.
This approval allows Nucleus 7 recipients the ability to connect to compatible Apple and Android devices without compromising on size, weight or battery life of the sound processor, Cochlear said.
Access to direct Android streaming between the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor and a compatible Android phone is dependent upon Android phone manufacturers implementing Google's Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) protocol into future operating system updates for their handsets.
Since the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor was first launched in 2017 as the world's first Made for iPhone cochlear implant sound processor and the announcement of the Nucleus Smart App compatibility with Android devices in 2018, Cochlear said it has continued to work to extend the benefits of its industry-leading technology to Android smartphone users as the technology becomes available.
With the updates, the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor continues to remain the industry's smallest and lightest behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor.
"When a person chooses a cochlear implant, it begins a partnership between them and the cochlear implant company for the rest of their life,” said Patricia Trautwein, Cochlear VP of marketing and product management.
“As the most chosen cochlear implant manufacturer with recipients all around the world, we at Cochlear understand our responsibility to innovate reliable implants and upgradeable sound processors that meet the needs of our customers today and in the future. In addition, our commitment extends beyond the product portfolios to include service innovations being realized with future-thinking connectivity that are transforming hearing healthcare."
Cochlear said the Nucleus Profile Plus Series Cochlear Implant will be commercially available later this month. The Nucleus Profile Plus Series Cochlear Implant is still awaiting approval by Health Canada.