With so many of my patients using smartphones, what kind of app technology is available for use with the Cochlear Baha 5?
The Smart App portfolio for Baha 5 allows for the use of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 and above) to be the remote control of the Baha 5 Sound Processor, and at the same time it allows for features like personalized custom programming. Now, the individual user can take control of the program that was decided upon by the clinician, adjust treble and bass with the Smart App for specific scenes and situations, and geotag that location via GPS on the iPhone. If the location is somewhere that the individual attends on a recurring basis, such as a favorite restaurant or meeting, and push notifications are enabled on the phone, it will send a notification that a custom program is available for this location. It will ask, “Would you like to access the custom program?”, and by simply hitting “yes”, the device will change to the individualized, custom setting.
With the iPhone technology, you can actually find your Baha 5 Sound Processor by utilizing the “Find your Processor” function. The device will actually remember where it was using Google maps the last time you had the device on. If the sound processor is on, the feature will tell you if you are “warm” and “cold” on a small bar graph, so that you can locate your processor if you’ve misplaced it. This is another exciting and practical use of this new technology.
There is also a feature built into the iPhone called Live Listen. This feature turns your iPhone into a remote microphone for your Baha 5 Sound Processor. Since most people always have their cell phones handy, you now always have the option of using a remote microphone with the Baha 5, without having to worry about carrying around extra hardware. The cell phone has become a very interesting and practical tool to integrate with the sound processor to provide options for patients in a variety of listening situations.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from an interview on this topic - read the interview here. For more information, professionals can visit www.cochlear.com/us or the Cochlear Expo Page on AudiologyOnline.