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Lots of New Sound Processors Are Coming This Year. Should We Wait?

March 23rd, 2013 by | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

All three cochlear implant manufacturers are rolling out new sound processors very soon.  MED-EL has already received an FDA approval in the US for RONDO last fall, which will be available for sale this spring.

Advanced Bionics is currently waiting for FDA approval in the US for their new sound processor that will probably be called “Naida Q70.”  Health Canada just approved it.  According to Advanced Bionics’ website, it appears that it might be approved by this summer, and they’re offering a promotional deal for candidates who choose Advanced Bionics today.  If your hospital offers two sound processors when you first receive a cochlear implant, you can choose to get the Neptune™ and a certificate to receive the new sound processor when it becomes available.

Cochlear™ will certainly have new sound processors, CP900 series, coming soon as Health Canada just approved them.  You can see more information by searching the license number, 90082. However, it has not been approved by the FDA yet.

Candidates and parents of candidates are frequently asking, “Should I wait until the new technologies become available to get the cochlear implant?”  Parents of young children with hearing loss should NOT wait because young children, especially babies, acquire language so quickly during the early years that every minute a child does not hear has an exponential impact on their language.

Adult candidates can certainly wait until the new technologies are released, as they have already developed their language skills.  The only issue they will have to face is communication barriers a little longer.  So, they will just have to decide on how much longer they want to face challenges in communication.

Cochlear implant recipients who already have a cochlear implant but would like to get a second cochlear implant can certainly wait too because they are already receiving access to sounds.  However, for young children, it is certainly better to get the second cochlear implant as soon as possible because professionals do notice a difference in language development with one cochlear implant verses two cochlear implants.  Plus, the longer the young children go without hearing in the non-implanted ear, the harder it will be for them to adjust to hearing with the second implanted ear and also learn to understand speech.

Cochlear implant recipients are frequently asking, “I have an older sound processor today.  Should I upgrade to the latest available sound processor today or wait until the new sound processor comes out sometimes in a few months to a year?”  As long as your sound processor is in good working condition today, I’d certainly wait until the new sound processor becomes available, even if it means that the FDA will probably not approve it until for another several months to a year!  The reason is because many medical insurance companies will cover upgrades only every five years.  So, if you get the latest available sound processor today, you will likely not be able to get a new sound processor for another five years!



March 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

intrested in all the material you can send me I leave in Mexico my son has a Coclear Freedom since his 2 years old he is now almost 8 years and we are very happy with the results he has the impant in his right ear .



March 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm

From what I understand the Cochlear`s new processor is a bit smaller and has several wireless options in the new remote assistant. For me to consider a upgrade id have to see a claimed increased ability in the quality of hearing with some explanation as to why this should be better. Have two N5`s now. Should be interesting.

United Healthcare

June 25, 2014 at 4:49 am

Wish that was true about every 5 years upgrade…

I was told by United Healthcare that they will only cover one lifetime upgrade to the processor.

July 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm

I’m sorry to hear that! Our guide to arguing for CI processor replacements (aka upgrades) might be useful.