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Cochlear ProNews - October 2020

What’s New with the Kanso 2 Sound Processor?

Natasha McDougald

July 14, 2020
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Interview with Natasha McDougald, Product Manager, Nucleus Sound Processors, and Connectivity at Cochlear Americas regarding the Kanso 2 Sound Processor.

 

AudiologyOnline: What does the FDA’s new approval of Cochlear’s technology include?

Natasha McDougald: On July 2, 2020 the FDA granted approval to Cochlear Americas for the first off-the-ear sound processor with smartphone compatibility and direct streaming - the Cochlear™ Nucleus® Kanso® 2. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor introduces a powerful built-in rechargeable battery designed for all-day hearing and has the highest dust/water resistance rating for an off-the-ear CI sound processor.1-3*  This processor combines the latest connectivity features and proven hearing performance technology with a comfortable, simple and durable all-in-one design. 4-7 Smart has never been so simple.

AudiologyOnline: What features does the Cochlear Nucleus Sound Processor portfolio offer?

Natasha McDougald: Whether patients prefer a cochlear implant sound processor that sits behind-the-ear like the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, or want a processor that is completely off-the-ear like the Nucleus Kanso 2,  they shouldn’t have to compromise on connectivity, processor size or hearing performance.  With two microphones, built-in SmartSound® iQ with SCAN* technology and ForwardFocus**, our small and light sound processors2 help patients hear their best wherever they are.2  

Direct streaming from compatible Apple® or Android™ devices+ means patients can listen to podcasts, answer calls from work or stream favorite movies directly to their cochlear implant sound processor without attachments or intermediary accessories.  Both processors can monitor and track hearing progress with Hearing Tracker, available in the Nucleus® Smart App.+ Additionally, the Nucleus Processor portfolio allows patients to stream to both ears – whether bilateral or with our smart bimodal hearing solution with a GN ReSound hearing aid.^  

AudiologyOnline: What is new with the Nucleus Kanso 2 Sound Processor? 

Natasha McDougald: Our first generation Kanso Sound Processor taught us that patients and clinicians value a simple, easy-to-use and comfortable design combined with smart features that positively impact overall hearing performance.8,9 When we asked recipients and clinicians what features they would like in the next generation off-the-ear sound processor, rechargeable batteries as well as a way to confirm the microphone sound quality were requested. 

Kanso 2 delivers on both requests - it features a powerful built-in battery designed for all-day hearing, with a convenient charger that wirelessly charges the processor and removes moisture at the same time. 1  Parents and caregivers can monitor the sound quality of microphone input in a new way, using Sound Check for the Kanso® 2 Sound Processor.  Accessible within the Nucleus Smart App, the incoming audio signal can be recorded on the compatible smartphone,+ and shared with others if needed.  Finally, the Nucleus Kanso 2 Sound Processor has the highest dust and water resistance of any off-the-ear sound processor (IP68) for confidence to hear whether splashing in the water or listening in the rain.2,3, #

AudiologyOnline What optional accessories are available for the Kanso 2 Sound Processor? 

Natasha McDougald: New and existing Nucleus implant recipients can take advantage of proven hearing performance over distance and noise with our True Wireless™ accessories like the Mini Microphone 2+ or TV Streamer.  For an option to charge on the go, the new portable charger holds an additional charge that allows recipients to charge the processor while wearing it.

For additional security during life’s adventures, Kanso 2 offers multiple retention solutions, including multiple safety lines and the new Kanso 2 Headband, designed to be worn wet or dry and is machine washable.  Also, your patients can enjoy their favorite activities around water with the Kanso 2 Sound Processor IP68 rating.2 For extra reassurance in longer water-based activities, the Kanso 2 Aqua+ is recommended.#

AudiologyOnline Has Cochlear had other recent innovations?

Natasha McDougald: The suite of approvals Cochlear received this summer from the FDA also extended the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor to our very first implant recipients – offering patients implanted as far back as 1982 the opportunity for  direct streaming with a compatible smartphone+ to our smallest and lightest behind-the-ear sound processor.3  It is so rewarding to see patients who began their journey over 30 years ago with a body-worn sound processor now stream phone calls and media from their smartphone. 

The COVID pandemic brought many challenges and demanded new ways of delivering healthcare remotely.  In April 2020, the FDA expedited approval of our Remote Check solution for cochlear implants.  We are currently partnering with hearing healthcare providers and hospitals to reach those most in need of audiological care, providing an alternative to in-person appointments.***  Recipients with a Nucleus 7 or Kanso 2 Sound Processor can complete a series of hearing tests from the Nucleus Smart App and results are sent remotely to the recipient’s clinician for review. This allows the clinician to quickly determine whether a patient is progressing, or whether a follow-up appointment may be required.

AudiologyOnline What excites you the most about working with Cochlear? 

Natasha McDougald: I always tell people that I have the best job ever because I get to help to bring innovations to recipients so they can have better hearing over a lifetime and connect with people around them in person or virtually.  We also recently updated our pediatric cochlear implant indications to allow children 9 months and older earlier access to sound for a lifetime of possibilities – it doesn’t get better than that!

To learn more about Cochlear’s latest innovations please view this webinar and read our press release.

* It is recommended that SNR-NR, WNR and SCAN be made available to any recipient, ages 6 and older, who is able to 1) complete objective speech perception testing in quiet and noise in order to demonstrate and document performance and 2) report a preference for different program settings.

** ForwardFocus can only be enabled by a hearing implant specialist. It should only be activated for users 12 years and older who are able to reliably provide feedback on sound quality and understand how to use the feature when moving to different or changing environments. It may be possible to have decreased speech understanding when using ForwardFocus in a quiet environment.

+ The Cochlear Kanso 2 Sound Processor, Nucleus 7 Sound Processor and Nucleus Smart App are compatible with Apple and Android devices, for compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility

^ For hearing aids compatible with linking to Cochlear sound processors please visit www.cochlear.com/nucleus/compatibility or visit the Smart Hearing Alliance section of www.cochlear.com/compatibility

# The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours.  The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities

*** Remote Check does not replace clinical care and does not involve remote programming of the sound processor.

To use Remote Check, a patient requires: latest version of the Nucleus Smart App (Remote Check is part of this App) running on a compatible Apple device (iPhone or iPod Touch); Nucleus 7 Sound Processors with implant models: CI24RE, CI512, CI513, CI522, CI532, CI612, CI622 and CI632; compatible firmware on the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor (4.1.3.3 or later). A clinician requires access to Cochlear’s secure web-based myCochlear.com Professional Portal to access and review patient results. The recommended browser for accessing the Professional Portal is Google Chrome. A clinician also requires Custom Sound 5.1 or later software to upgrade the patient’s firmware to enable access to Remote Check. For sound processor and app compatibility information, visit https://www.cochlear.com/compatibility.

References:

1. Cochlear Ltd. D1710313 CP1150 Battery Life Coverage Technical Report. 2020; Mar. Data on file.

2.  Cochlear Limited. D1671736. CP1150 IEC60529 Ingress Protection Test Report IP68. October 2019. Cochlear Limited. 

3.  D1190805. Sound Processor Size Comparison. March 2020. Data on file.

4.  Mauger SJ, et al. Clinical evaluation of the Nucleus 6 cochlear implant system: performance improvements with SmartSound iQ. International Journey Of Audiology. 2014, Aug; 53(8): 564-576. 

5.  Mauger SJ, et al. Clinical outcomes with the Kanso off-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor. Int J Audiol.Published online 09 Jan 2017 (DOI:10.1080/14992027.2016.1265156) 

6. Wolfe J, et al. Benefits of Adaptive Signal Processing in a Commercially Available Cochlear Implant Sound Processor. Otol Neurotol. 2015 Aug;36(7):1181-90. 

7. Cochlear Ltd. D1660797. CP1150 Sound Processor Interim Clinical Investigation Report. 2020; Jan. Data on file.

8.  Cochlear Limited. D1336982. Cochlear Kanso Evaluation Survey - Recipients - October 2017. November 2017. Data on file.

9.  Cochlear Limited. D1343943. Cochlear Kanso Evaluation Survey - Clinicians - December 2017. December 2017. Data on file.

© Cochlear Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Hear now. And always and other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of Cochlear Limited or Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. 

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology. Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

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natasha mcdougald

Natasha McDougald

Product Manager, Nucleus Sound Processors and Connectivity, Cochlear Americas

Natasha McDougald is the Product Manager for Cochlear Americas responsible for the Nucleus Sound Processors and Wireless Accessories and is just proud to be a mom to two wonderful children; one of whom is deaf blind with bilateral cochlear implants.  Natasha has been with Cochlear for 9 years and has had a range of roles across the country including working with professionals for both surgical and clinical support, leading the South Florida and Northern California territory teams and mentoring families affected by hearing loss.