MED-EL out of Tyrol, Austria has received European approval to market the Vibrant Soundbridge middle ear implant system for children and adolescents. The device features a single point connection to the skull, so the system can remain permanent as it accommodates the patient’s head growth.
From the product page:
The implanted part of the Vibrant Soundbridge is called the VORP (Vibrating Ossicular Prosthesis) and consists of an internal coil, a magnet to hold the Audio Processor over the implant, a demodulator, the conductor link and the innovative technology of the Floating Mass Transducer™ (FMT™).
The signal from the Audio Processor is transmitted to the VORP and transformed into mechanical vibrations by the FMT.
The VORP is implanted during a surgical procedure in which the FMT is attached to a vibratory structure of the ear. When activated, the FMT vibrates in a controlled manner, specific to each patient’s hearing needs, causing the structure of the ear to vibrate. It conducts a wide frequency range up to 8000 Hz.
The FMT, a tiny magnet, lies at the core of this advanced technology.
The externally worn Audio Processor (AP) is attached to the patient’s head, behind the ear, by a magnet which is attracted to a magnet within the implanted VORP.
The Audio Processor includes a microphone to pick up sound from the environment, sound processing circuitry to modify the output signal to the patient’s specific requirements, a battery to power the device and high-quality, fully digital signal processing.
The Audio Processor is designed to have a battery life of approximately one week.
Product page: Vibrant Soundbridge
Press release: VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE received market approval for the implantation in children and adolescents within Europe and countries that recognize the European CE mark
Flashbacks: MED-EL Corporation’s new Cochlear Implant System ; DUET Electric-Acoustic Hybrid Hearing Aid Undergoing US Trials…; Earworm: A Symphony Borne of Science…