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neucleus profile plus with slim modiolar electrode (CI632)

The implant’s diametrically polarized magnet rotates and aligns with the magnetic field of the MRI machine, reducing the torque experienced by the implant, which contrasts axial magnets.

With MRI becoming a hot topic of discussion within the cochlear implant space, do you feel the introduction of Profile Plus eliminates this discussion? 

Wade Colburn: Profile Plus is the latest implant innovation and allows for easier access to MRI.  With that said, Cochlear was the first to offer MRI access with their implants, when a removable magnet design was applied to our CI24M implant in 1997. Since then, we have had a growing number of recipients (currently > 60,000) that have varying access to MRI.  To ensure our patients have the best possible access, Cochlear is working in a few areas:

  1. Improving our website and streamlining our call line to have an MRI Hotline for both professionals and recipients
  2. Providing clarifications and tools for radiology professionals to better understand the scan parameters
  3. Pursuing enhancements to our compression offering and expanding the access to it within our current recipients

With regard to the discussion around MRI compatibility, we are excited to now have the thinnest, most reliable implant with the most advanced connectivity features – while also being MRI compatible at 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla.

AudiologyOnline: What about Cochlear’s recipients that were implanted with an earlier generation?

Wade Colburn: While the Profile Plus implant magnet is not able to be used in previous generation implants at this time, many within the recipient base do have access to MRI.  Further, Cochlear remains committed to continued innovations that will ensure recipients the best possible hearing experiences for their lifetime.  As the leader in reliability, connectivity and service, Cochlear is committed to backwards compatible processors and enhancements to ensure the best experience possible.

AudiologyOnline: Has Cochlear had other recent innovations?

Wade Colburn: Cochlear is always innovating to ensure that our current and future recipients have the best possible hearing outcomes and experience.  While Profile Plus adds to a portfolio of innovations on the implant side of the business, Cochlear has also been innovating when it comes to the processor and software. Recently, Cochlear announced the partnership with Google and ReSound to allow for direct Android streaming.  This enhancement to the Nucleus 7 device has received approval and is expected to be made available in the US and Canada in Fall 2019.  This will allow for Cochlear to be the only manufacturer with direct streaming to Android and Apple devices without an intermediary device.

AudiologyOnline: What excites you the most about working with Cochlear?

Wade Colburn: As a former biomedical engineer, I became part of the medical device industry with the intent to help people.  At Cochlear, there is a direct impact to our recipients and there is no doubt in my mind of the benefit that is being provided, which is extremely rewarding.  I appreciate the fact that Cochlear cares about the recipient for a lifetime and ensures the best possible hearing experience. The people that I work with are extremely focused, intelligent and a joy to be around.