Friday, January 28, 2011

Novità Cochlear: Utilizza Smartphone Interface per Regolare Input in Base all'Ambiente

NIH Grant Enables Cochlear Implant Breakthrough
Project Uses Smartphone Interface to Adjust Settings for Noisy Environments

Jan. 28, 2011
Clicca qui per leggere l'articolo- utilizza il Google Translator
Many cochlear implant users may soon be able to easily modify the settings on their hearing devices using a smartphone interface, selecting one setting for a bustling restaurant, another for a hushed library.

Ten health-care and research facilities across the U.S. are slated to participate in clinical trials of the technology, pending Food and Drug Administration approval, says Dr. Philip Loizou, director of the Cochlear Implant Lab at UT Dallas and principal investigator for the $2.5 million project, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The technology, which centers on creating an interface between mobile devices and FDA-approved cochlear implants manufactured by Cochlear Ltd., replaces the speech processor that cochlear implant users wear behind the ear.

Attached to the inner ear of profoundly deaf people by an array of 16 to 22 electrodes, cochlear implants have restored partial hearing to more than 180,000 people.

Several audio-processing techniques have been developed over the years that improved the benefits derived from cochlear implants, enabling moderate levels of speech understanding today. Loizou’s research focuses on developing new speech- and sound-processing strategies that further improve the levels of speech performance, particularly in noisy environments.

“The new technology will provide a great deal of flexibility to cochlear implant users to change the programs in their device as they please and thus to optimize their listening experience in different environments,” Loizou said. “Current implant patients do not have such flexibility.”

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