Strategic Features of the Cochlear Kanso® 2 Sound Processor
Audiology Online: What feature of the Kanso 2 Sound Processor do you feel is most beneficial to clinicians and why? Adult recipients? Pediatric patients?
Marian Jones: There are various benefits for clinicians and both adult and pediatric recipients. Let's take a look at each group.
- Clinicians: In addition to the vital benefits of the Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor and an off-the-ear (OTE) sound processor, the added feature of the button-less Kanso 2 Sound Processor is easy to use, with a fully integrated rechargeable battery, Auto-on/Auto-off and easy charging via the Home Charger. It allows the clinician to spend less time on processor instruction. The take-home use for the clinical trial occurred during COVID-19 restrictions, requiring us to send the trial Kanso 2 Sound Processors directly to recipients’ homes. They all received the Information guides and none had difficulty setting up the sound processor, charging or pairing.
- Adult recipients: Having an OTE option with full connectivity, like direct streaming and phone calls, is most beneficial to adult recipients. The ability to use the Nucleus Smart App can enhance their communication needs as well as monitor the status of their sound processor, especially the battery status.
- Pediatric recipients and caregivers: The Kanso 2 provides an IP68 water resistance without the Aqua+, providing confidence for bath time and water play. ~ The Sound Check feature also provides caregivers with the ability to monitor the microphone input and share the recordings with their audiologist and/or early intervention support team.
Audiology Online: How do the built-in features of Kanso 2 Sound Processor support new ways for clinicians to deliver care to their patients?
Marian Jones: Earlier I mentioned that we sought feedback from clinicians and recipients, which included our first generation Kanso Sound Processor.1 We received an overwhelming response for the need for a rechargeable battery. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor features a powerful, integrated rechargeable battery with most recipients able to achieve a minimum of 18 hours of battery life for all-day hearing. ++ The Home Charger is the primary charging unit and offers a convenient way for recipients to care for their Kanso 2 Sound Processor by wirelessly charging and drying the device at the same time. They are also able to place the sound processor in the Home Charger with the Safety Line and Softwear Pad (if required) still attached.
For Nucleus 7 Sound Processors, battery level is displayed as four bars within the Nucleus Smart App. For the Kanso 2 Sound Processor, the battery level offers more specificity and displays a percentage. This is due to a new fuel gauge that was incorporated in the Kanso 2 Sound Processor, which also monitors battery health. Battery health is the ability of the battery to store charge. This measurement allows clinicians and recipients to identify when the battery is functioning as expected or when it needs to be replaced. Battery health can be viewed within the ‘Settings’ menu of the Nucleus Smart App and in Custom Sound® Pro fitting software following battery life estimation. ++
Parents and caregivers can now monitor the microphone input of Kanso 2 Sound Processor using the new Sound Check feature, accessible via the Nucleus Smart App. This can help assess the quality of the incoming audio signal when checking or troubleshooting the sound processor, which is perfect for instances where recipients may not reliably report sound quality changes.
The new connector for programming cable and retention safety lines is much easier to attach and remove, and the microphone cover makes changing simple and less reliant on clinician support.
Audiology Online: Why is Auto-on such an innovative feature?
Marian Jones: While we have Auto-on for the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor (by connecting the battery to the processor), the Auto-on feature for Kanso 2 is activated by picking up the Kanso 2 Sound Processor and placing it on the implant. This feature is facilitated due to the presence of an accelerometer which detects movement of the sound processor. The sensitivity of the accelerometer has been finely tuned to ensure that the recipient experience is as simple as possible while at the same time preserving battery life.
Audiology Online: What does Auto-on mean for clinicians? For recipients?
Marian Jones: Recipients have a diverse set of needs, but they all want their sound processor to be seamless to use. Additionally, clinicians can have confidence that their recipients will be hearing without the need for any interaction with the sound processor with Auto-on enabled by default means. For children this can also mean an increase in independence as they can easily place the processors on themselves. The adult clinical trial recipients all stated how much they missed this feature when they returned to their own processors.
For more information on the Kanso 2 Sound Processor, check out this AudiologyOnline interview.
1.Clinical outcomes with the Kanso™ off-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor. Published online November 2016: International Journal of Audiology: Authors: Stefan Mauger, Marian Jones, Esti Nel, Janine Del Dot.
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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.
+ 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.
~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.
++All day hearing is defined as 16 hours, expected battery life is up to 18 hours. Battery life may vary by individual.