Applications Open for Graeme Clark and Anders Tjellström Scholarships

It’s finally time to apply for the prestigious scholarships offered by Cochlear Americas! The 2018 Graeme Clark and Anders Tjellström scholarships recognize values like leadership, humanity and academic achievement in students who are Cochlear™ Nucleus® Implant and Baha® System recipients. The awarded students will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years at an accredited college or university, for a total of $8,000 per student.2017scholarshipwinners_400

Picture: Scholarship winners 2017

Since 2002, Cochlear has awarded $568,000 to 80 college students. The scholarships are named after Graeme Clark, the pioneer of the multichannel cochlea implant, and Anders Tjellström, surgeon and the founding father of the Baha treatment. The Graeme Clark scholarship is an award open to Nucleus Cochlear Implant recipients around the world. The Anders Tjellström Scholarship is an award open to Baha system recipients in the United States and Canada.

For more details regarding eligibility and the submission process, check out the Application page.

The application period runs through September 30, 2017. Apply today!

Second Decade of Baha Technology

1987 – 1997:  more innovation, new countries and the first five thousand patients

Thirty years ago, bone conduction technology was emerging as the treatment of choice for people suffering from conductive hearing loss. Thanks to the excellent results observed from the fitting of the first patients starting in 1977, the development of the bone conduction implant system continued to grow. The interest and awareness of the intervention spread across Europe throughout the 1980’s, with increasing numbers of clinical reports revealing positive outcomes in implant recipients. In the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden in particular, the treatment became more common and part of a choice of options available to people with hearing loss.

The world’s first bone conduction sound processor, the HC-100, which became commercially available in 1985, was followed up by an improved version in 1988 – the HC-200. Within a few years another new processor was launched, the Classic 300, followed closely by the Baha 360 model. Both new processors took considerable steps toward increasing the ease of use of the system.

The Classic 300 Sound Processor was launched in 1993

The Baha 360 sound processor, launched in 1995, was a smaller version of the Classic 300 (pictured). It was the industry’s first miniaturised sound processor and took a big step toward offering a more discreet design that would help users feel more confident when wearing the device. Patients who were fitted with a bone conduction hearing system in the 1990’s reported increased comfort as compared to conventional hearing aids. ¹

A very important milestone was reached in 1996, when the FDA approved the use of the Baha System in the USA. The result of opening such a big, new market was simply amazing – by 1997, five thousand people were hearing better with the help the Baha System!

The year of 1997 was also marked by another crucial event – the launch of the Baha Cordelle. It was the world’s first super power device, designed for people with more severe hearing loss, and was suitable for people with up to 65 dB SNHL. This meant that people who had struggled to hear, despite attempts with hearing aids, would now have access to power levels high enough to compensate for their hearing loss. The Baha Cordelle was also equipped with the first generation of snap coupling that improved the connection between sound processor and implant.

The Baha Cordelle (right), launched in 1995, is the predecessor of the Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor (left), launched in 2016.

In the next article, read about the third decade of bone conduction hearing.

 

Sources:

  1. “Baha – A Third Option for Otosclerosis”. Nobel Biocare International Updates 2/96. Volume 5, No.2, 1996, pp. 3

The world’s first recipient of a bone conduction implant celebrates 40 years of hearing

News from Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

Mona Andersson had suffered from hearing loss for more than 30 years before she could hear again. In 1977, thanks to a medical innovation developed in Gothenburg, her hearing capacity was dramatically improved. Today, forty years later, 150, 000 people have regained their hearing with a bone conduction implant.

img_3561(Photo: Anders Tjellström and Mona Andersson)

Hearing loss is a major public health issue and its impact is set to increase. More than 360 million people live with disabling hearing loss and this figure is set to increase significantly. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there will be 1.2 billion people living with disabling hearing loss in 2050. Every year on March 3, WHO celebrates the World Hearing Day, an advocacy event that calls for international action to address hearing loss. This year’s event campaign “Make a sound investment” reveals that unaddressed hearing loss costs the global economy a staggering $750 billion annually.

In Sweden alone, about 1.4 million people suffer from hearing impairment, of which 700, 000 need to use hearing aids, according to Hörselskadades Riksförbund, the National Association for Hearing Impairment in Sweden.

Forty years ago, an innovation from Gothenburg created a new industry that was set to restore hearing in many people affected by hearing impairment. Gothenburg resident Mona Andersson was one of those people.

The innovation is based on the concept of osseointegration, a process discovered and coined by Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, when in Gothenburg in the 1960s, he serendipitously discovered that titanium completely fused with bone. The discovery of osseointegration led to the development of the bone conduction hearing implant, pioneered by Anders Tjellström, surgeon and Senior Lecturer at Gothenburg University and member of Brånemark’s research team, in collaboration with Bo Håkansson, Professor at Chalmers Institute.

Already in early childhood, Mona was suffering from bilateral chronic ear infections, caused by scarlet fever. Her natural capacity to hear had dropped dramatically and it was not long before she had serious problems with her hearing. At the age of 15, Mona received her first hearing aid, which improved her hearing slightly, at the cost of constant headaches and embarrassment. When she started working at a plastic factory, she realised that exposure to warm temperatures affected her hearing even more.

She reached a turning point in 1965 when she became a mother.

“I struggled to communicate with my daughter in the first years of her life. I had nothing to lose when I accepted Dr. Tjellström’s proposal to receive a bone conduction implant”, says Mona.

In 1977, Mona underwent the world’s first bone conduction implant surgery, performed by Dr Anders Tjellström at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The implant was specifically designed for patients affected by conductive hearing loss, like Mona. Today its application has increased to treat other types of hearing loss.

“For the first time since childhood I could hear birds singing”, she told Dr. Tjellström when she received her implant. Sounds like the buzz of a fly or ice cubes clinking in a glass, suddenly became new experiences for her.

Forty years after the surgery, Mona celebrates not only functional hearing, but hearing capacity that has gone beyond what most “normal hearing” people can experience. The latest technology, developed in Gothenburg by Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions, allows the recipients of a bone conduction implant to stream sound from their phones directly to their ears.

“Bone conduction technology has come a long way. Today, Mona is using a sound processor that has the capacity to adapt to different noise environments, something we had never imagined possible all those years ago”, explains Dr. Tjellström.

More than 150, 000 people worldwide benefit from Gothenburg invention

The bone conduction implant system was approved in Sweden ten years after Mona received her implant. In 1993, the Gothenburg-based Nobel Pharma, whose bone conduction business later became Entific, started commercializing the product. In 2005, international hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear Ltd bought Entific and named it Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions, based in Mölnlycke. Today, more than 150, 000 people hear thanks to a bone conduction implant.

“We created the world’s smallest sound processor that is also the first ever to connect wirelessly to electronic devices, allowing users to stream sound directly to the ear. Gothenburg is a unique centre of innovation, where we can benefit from all the expertise, technology, and research of the region, helping us to constantly evolve our industry”, says Rom Mendel, President Acoustics & Managing Director at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions.

Most hearing specialists agree that bone conduction hearing systems are an effective solution for patients with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness.

Celebrating World Hearing Day on March 3 with the #happiestsound in the world

Celebrating World Hearing Day on March 3 with the #happiestsound in the world

The World Hearing Day is an annual advocacy event that fosters dialogue on ear care and prevention of hearing problems. In line with this year’s theme, “Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment”, Cochlear celebrates the World Hearing Day with an international campaign.

The importance of raising awareness on hearing impairment was first addressed in 2007 when the World Health Organization (WHO) and China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) partnered in an unprecedented initiative to voice the daily burden of some 360 million people affected by hearing disability. The World Hearing Day, formerly known as International Ear Care Day, resulted from the First International Conference on Prevention and Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment, jointly hosted by WHO and CDPF.

According to a 2012 WHO report, about 1 billion young people who are recreationally exposed to high sounds are at risk of developing long-term hearing problems. The same report points out that more than 60% of the childhood hearing loss cases can be prevented by taking specific measures. Coupled with the high incidence rate of hearing impairment in low and middle economies, these figures impose prompt action, and indicate a indicate a strong need to share knowledge and practices across territorial borders.

Awareness campaigns are therefore necessary, not only for spreading valuable information, but also to inspire and encourage people to get actively involved in promoting hearing health.

Cochlear is searching for the Happiest Sound in the World

The Happiest Sound in the World is a social media campaign that aims at raising worldwide awareness on hearing health. People from Sydney to Sao Paulo and London to Los Angeles are invited to share their #HappiestSound with the whole world. Participation is really simple and only takes a matter of minutes. Anyone can just share their happiest sound through video, audio, photograph or even write about it and then post it on social media using the hashtag #HappiestSound.

are invited to share the sounds that make them happiest by using the hashtag #happiestsound. The campaign runs through March 2, 2017, when the Happiest Sound in the World will be revealed.

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(#happiestsound user posts from happiestsound.com)

Visit happiestsound.com to see all happiest sounds, get information about posting, and submit your contact details if you participate in the campaign.

International Cochlear Implant Day and World Hearing Day at the Science Museum in London

Cochlear Europe Ltd invites all Cochlear™ Nucleus® and Cochlear™ Baha® implant recipients and their families to  International Cochlear Implant Day and World Hearing Day, a free of charge event held at the Science Museum in London on February 25, 2017.

linn_friends_guitarParticipants will have the opportunity to learn more about the latest innovations in hearing, meet other recipients, and interact with the Cochlear team. Access is also free for anyone who is considering a Cochlear or Baha implant.

Continue reading

The Baha System in South America

Question: Is the Baha System available yet for pediatric patients in Colombia (South America)?

Thank you! //Ruth

Answer: Hi Ruth. Yes, absolutely! The Baha System has been available in Latin and South America since 2006, with approximately 3000 users currently in Colombia. Out of those, 60% are adults and 40% are children.

Check out the Latin American Cochlear website for more information.

//The Baha Blog team

Apply for the 2016 Cochlear Anders Tjellström UK & Ireland Scholarship now!

Cochlear_Anders_Tjellstrom_Scholarship

Could you – or anyone you know – apply for the Anders Tjellström UK & Ireland Scholarship?

The unique award is open to Baha recipients who are:

  • a UK or Irish resident and implanted at a UK or Irish Baha implant centre
  • currently completing their final year of school or sixth form college and who have been accepted onto a full-time university or other tertiary education course
  • 18 years or over at application deadline
  • mature students who have been accepted onto a full-time or other tertiary education course
  • students currently undertaking a full-time university degree or other tertiary education course
  • studying for a minimum of 2 years
  • previous applicants are eligible to apply if they meet the above criteria

Applicants must submit their completed application form with all supporting documentation and required information by the deadline. No late applications or part of the application pack will be accepted. Please do not send original documents where copies have been requested, as documents will not be returned.

Deadline date for applications: 30 November 2016

Read more and download the application here