What are some of the key features of the new Naida CI Q70 from Advanced Bionics?
Years ago when we first were acquired by Sonova, Advanced Bionics (AB) and Phonak began collaborating to take some of the fantastic technologies that Phonak had developed, and combine them with the technologies that AB has also become known for. Phonak sees itself and wants to be known as the innovation leader in the hearing aid industry. It is probably one of the reasons why the marriage between AB and Phonak makes so much sense, since AB has also had a strong focus on innovation and hearing performance. We have been working to merge the two technologies to bring something even better to the people who receive cochlear implants.
With the introduction of Naída CI, many of the features and benefits that are available today in Naída hearing instruments will also be available for AB cochlear implant recipients. These features include Binaural VoiceStream Technology™, which includes features that provide more speech and less noise across a variety of listening situations. In addition, the Naída CI is compatible with a number of Phonak accessories such as the ComPilot for wireless audio streaming, which until now has never been available for cochlear implants. The beauty of wireless streaming for Advanced Bionics recipients is that they will be able to stream not only to a CI sound processor or two CI sound processors, but also to a CI sound processor and a compatible Phonak hearing aid. It is really exciting! Other features include Phonak UltraZoom, which allows recipients to focus on sound coming from the front while reducing interference from noise present to the side, or behind, the listener. UltraZoom can be used on its own or combined with AB’s ClearVoice™* technology, for even more benefit in very difficult listening situations. As you know, ClearVoice was a breakthrough for AB, because it was the first algorithm to receive FDA approval with a superiority claim, meaning that it is statistically proven to improve speech perception in noise. There is already data from Europe that suggests when ClearVoice is combined with UltraZoom, there is an even more marked improvement in hearing in noise than with either of these features on their own. ClearVoice can also be combined with other Phonak features delivered with Naída CI, such as ZoomControl, which allows a listener to focus hearing to the right or left, and DuoPhone, which streams a phone call simultaneously to both implanted ears.
I think our patients are really going to benefit from many of the new features introduced with Naída CI. If you think about it, children as young as 3-years-old are using the phone today, especially if they live far away from grandparents or other family members. Being able to talk on the phone either wirelessly using Bluetooth or with DuoPhone and hear the signal in both ears is fantastic, especially when children are just developing speech and language and benefit from the redundancy of the signal in two ears, while at the same time blocking out some of the background noise.
*Not approved for pediatric use in the United States.
This Ask the Expert was taken from an AudiologyOnline interview – read the full interview here.