New published study on the Baha Attract System

Baha-4-Attract-Cochlear

Ensuring the safety and performance of our hearing solutions is very important to Cochlear. We have had many questions on this blog about the performance of the Baha Attract System. So now we thought we would share some of the latest research with you!

Together with four leading hospitals across the world – Melbourne (Australia), Santiago (Chile), Hong Kong (China SAR) and Haifa (Israel) – we have collaborated on a clinical investigation of the Baha Attract System. 27 recipients with either a conductive hearing loss or single-sided sensorineural deafness, took part in this rigorous nine month investigation.

The outcomes have now been published in the internationally renown journal of Otology and Neurotology so both medical professionals and recipients can read about and share the outcomes.

Everyone in the study reported that the Baha Attract System improved their communication ability in daily life. It was clearly shown that their hearing levels had improved significantly than before the study.

baha-softband

Importantly, Baha Attract users showed similar or better performance than the pre-operative Softband evaluation. Thus, the Baha Softband continues to be a good and consistent predictor of outcome.

Baha SoftWear Pad

The external magnet with the Baha SoftWear Pad

As the Baha Attract System uses a unique magnetic connection, further investigations were performed to examine the comfort and retention of the magnet. All reports show that the system is comfortable with good retention and fewer soft tissue complications. All users continued to wear the Baha Attract system at the end of the study.

Both users and professionals often like a choice between the either the direct abutment connection or a magnetic connection. It is important that both system provide similar levels of hearing performance with low levels of post surgical issues. It is excellent to see comprehensive reports such as this confirming the good performance of the Baha Attract system.

Read more about the two systems here.

Cochlear Science and Research Seminar on bone conduction hearing

Baha-seminar-research

As part of our commitment to research, Cochlear runs an ongoing Science and Research Seminar series for medical professionals. The latest seminar was on “Bone conduction hearing” and held in Berlin on 22-23 January.

The seminars are on topics at the vanguard of our industry and this particular seminar aimed to investigate the latest outcomes relating to the Baha BI300 implant, the Baha DermaLock abutment and the Baha Attract System.

At Cochlear, we see these seminars as an integral part of what we do – to understand the latest outcomes, to investigate potentially new treatment options/techniques and to disseminate best clinical practice to all our customers.

With 16 speakers over two half days, there were many highlights – particularly these listed below:

  • The host for the seminar, Prof. Michal Luntz from Bnai Zion Medical Center and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, presented results on the performance of the Baha Attract System, as did several other speakers. All concluded in their research that the system offers great outcomes for mixed and conductive hearing loss types, while also being an attractive option from a cosmetic point of view.
  • Ms Charlotte Jespersen from GN ReSound highlighted possible benefits when using the Cochlear Wireless Accessories, available for both Cochlear’s Baha and Cochlear Implant recipients. Recipients can expect significant hearing performance benefits, particularly for noisy and difficult listening environments.
  • Last, but not least, the possibility of “transitioning” from an abutment type system to a Baha Attract System was presented by Prof. Jaydip Ray (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals). Based on results achieved to date, this is a definite possibility for certain Baha users.

All in all it was a fantastic two days of science and research!

~ Colin Irwin, Senior Clinical Studies Specialist, Cochlear

Baha-Seminar-bone-conduction-implant-news

Global consensus on successful outcomes with the Baha Attract System

Yet another meeting of experts confirms the proven clinical outcomes of the Baha Attract System!

On October 21st-22nd 2014, a group of European surgeons met in Gothenburg, Sweden to review the global clinical data and discuss their experiences with the Baha Attract System. Together, the participants have performed over 100 Baha Attract surgeries in adult and paediatric patients.

The consensus of the meeting was that the Baha Attract System provides good clinical outcomes for patients with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and single-sided sensorineural deafness, with good wearing comfort and minimal post-operative care. The joint experience and consensus was very well aligned with the discussions in the similar meeting held in September when a group of experienced US surgeons gathered in Denver, Colorado.

Baha-surgeons-Cochlear-Sweden

Present surgeons were (from left to right): Jérôme Nevoux, MD, PhD (Hôpital Bicêtre, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France), Jaydip Ray, PhD, MS, FRCS (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals & Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom), Michal Luntz, MD (Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel), Piotr Skarżyński, MD, PhD, MSc (Institute of Sensory Organs, Kajetany, Poland), Mete İşeri, MD (Medical Faculty of Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey), and Kadir Serkan Orhan, MD (İstanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey).

Drs Skarżyński, Ray, Orhan and İşeri presented clinical and surgical outcomes from a large number of Baha Attract patients, both adults and children.

Prof Luntz presented important considerations related to patients with chronic otitis media – a large group of potential candidates for the Baha Attract System.

Drs Nevoux and Ray shared their experience and considerations from transition surgeries from an abutment to a magnetic connection.

The outcomes of the meeting are compiled in a position paper and will include guidelines for successful outcomes with the Baha Attract System.

Proven good performance with the Baha Attract System

Baha Attract System

One year ago, Cochlear introduced the magnetic bone conduction solution Baha Attract System. A clinical investigation* shows that the Baha Attract System demonstrates good performance**.

On September 7th 2014, a group of experienced surgeons gathered in Denver, Colorado, to review the global clinical data and their joint experience with the Baha Attract System. Together, the meeting participants have performed almost 100 Baha Attract surgeries in adult and paediatric patients.

The consensus of the meeting was that the Baha Attract System provides good clinical outcomes for patients with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and single-sided sensorineural deafness, with good wearing comfort and minimal post-operative care.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Present surgeons were (from left to right): Dr. Kenny Chan (Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado), Dr. Theodore Mason (ENT Surgeons of Western New England, Springfield, Massachusetts), Dr. Wayne Berryhill (Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates, Norman, Oklahoma), Dr. Ricardo Cristobal (Texas Ear Clinic, Fort Worth, Texas), Dr. Pete Weber (UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worchester, Massachusetts and Medical Advisor for Cochlear), Dr. Jack Wazen (Silverstein Institute, Sarasota, Florida), Dr. Aftab Patni (The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates, Winter Park, Florida) and Dr. Huseyin Isildak (Penn State University Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania).

Dr. Mason, Dr. Cristobal and Dr. Weber presented their clinical experience from Baha Attract surgeries in both adult patients and children as young as 5 years of age, with specific focus on surgical technique and surgical/medical considerations.

Dr. Cristobal and Dr. Wazen also presented case studies of 9 Baha patients, who successfully have transitioned from an abutment to a magnetic connection.

The outcomes of this meeting will be published in a positioning paper and will include guidelines for successful outcomes with the Baha Attract System.

 

* Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT01822119. Clinical performance of a transcutaneous bone conduction hearing solution (Baha Attract System)
** Flynn M. C., Cochlear Baha Attract System – Summary of clinical results and benefits, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, White paper E83112, 2014

Cochlear staff – the people behind the products

Henrik Fyrlund

Part of our success at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions is that we love what we do. Our glass building houses more than 200 people who are committed to making people hear and be heard. Here’s one of them:

Henrik Fyrlund, Systems Engineer – has worked at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions since 2010

Q: What do you do at Cochlear?

A: I work with the development and implementation of the Baha Attract System.

Q: Were you always interested in sound?

A: I have always been very interested in music. I learned to play the piano when I was five and the guitar when I was ten. From the point I became a teenager I was always in bands, rehearsing, playing, performing and writing songs. We had this studio where we recorded the songs, and I started becoming more and more interested in the technology of sound – the recording, the mixing and mastering. During my “rock star years” I’ve developed quite sensitive ears, to listen for good quality.

Q: You would think it was the opposite; that your hearing would be ruined by playing rock music.

A: I always wear ear protection. Always, always, always. Your hearing is so worth it.

Q: So how did you go from a promising music career to engineering?

A: I studied mechanical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology where I became more and more interested in the technology of sound. My dream was to work with sound and keep the music as a hobby. I knew I wanted to work at Cochlear so I applied for a job as CAD Constructor just to get my foot in the door. What’s so great about this company is that they really let you pursue your dream. They want motivated, skilled people to work here, so I was able to do my job and work with music in my spare time.

Henrik demonstrates the Baha Attract System

Baha Attract SystemQ: What are you working on right now?

A: This year I took on a new role which meant responsibility for the Baha Attract System. For the past two years I have been involved in everything from the microphone in the sound processor, to the design of the implant magnet, to the patent registry of the Baha SoftWear Pad. The challenge with the external magnet in the Baha Attract System is that it needed to be comfortable to wear, let through the sound and NOT fall off. This meant measuring the exact pressure on the skin to find the “sweet spot”. I think we tested around 40 or 50 different types of material until we found one that fit all the criteria. The Baha SoftWear Pad might be one of the reasons the Baha Attract System has been so successful. The retention is really good – and people can wear it for a long time.

Baha SoftWear Pad

Q: Have you had the opportunity to meet people who use the Baha Attract System?

Yeah, I was lucky enough to meet the first people in the world that use the system. At first it was hard to believe that these people were hearing, thanks to the magnet I had a part in designing. I was really happy to meet them, and glad to see that the designs worked just as well as we had anticipated.

Q: That must have been a special moment.

A: The most powerful moment was when I met a patient in Melbourne, and got to sit in on her fitting session. When her Baha 4 Sound Processor was put on, she just sat there and quietly started crying. She was so, so happy because she realised she would be able to hear her children again. You could see it in her eyes; it was something that would change her life forever. I get emotional just talking about it. That’s an image I often go back to, in my head. We really do work with products that help to change people’s lives for the better. I mean, we don’t make luxury commercial goods. We fulfil basic needs – letting people hear again. And in the end, that’s what it’s really all about.

Testing the Baha Attract System

Guest blog: Dr Jolien Desmet’s journey of discovery of sensorineural single-sided deafness

Dr Jolien Desmet from UZA Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, shares with us her experience as a clinical audiologist who was inspired by the interactions with her patients to go further. She was recently awarded a PhD which focused on bone conduction hearing.

“I am lucky to have a position where I can be both a clinical and research audiologist. Importantly, the Baha solution has been my research focus for the last four and a half years.

I am continually impressed and humbled by the degree of benefit provided by the Baha solution for people with conductive or mixed hearing loss, or single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD). Especially when meeting patients with a large hearing loss, that are so enthusiastic about the life changing impact of the Baha solution!

One patient I remember well was a taxi driver, profoundly deaf on his right side. Being a taxi driver in Belgium, with the steering wheel on the left, he was a perfect SSD Baha candidate. After he got his Baha sound processor, he could hear the conversations and directions of his passengers on his right side much more clearly. He reported so much benefit from this!

The focus of my research is to go beyond the standard hearing tests and highlight the quality of life improvement shown by patients in their everyday life. I wish to highlight new ways in which we can more understand the improvements reported by patients with SSD.

Over the past four years, under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Paul Van de Heyning at the Antwerp University Hospital, I have personally investigated* the performance of hundreds of Baha candidates. I have also spoken to different researchers who are looking for an explanation for the reported benefit.

For SSD patients, you often need to look beyond the standard hearing tests, as it is the benefit in quality of life that is most crucial. We need to discuss and be open to what actual situation benefits a Baha solution provides for the candidate. What situations are they in where they need to hear from the other side? When are they in situations where their daily life is compromised by having access to sound from only one side? For example, work meetings or communicating in situations with lots of background noise. These are issues that we, as professionals, must take into account when seeing a SSD patient in the context of a Baha trial.

In addition to the SSD research, I am focusing on new technologies such as Baha Attract and also the wireless technologies … I believe that these may provide further improvements for patients with SSD. But maybe I should save that for a next blog post!”

~ Dr Jolien Desmet

 

* Desmet J, Bouzegta R, Hofkens A et al. Clinical need for a Baha trial in patients with single-sided sensorineural deafness. Analysis of a Baha database of 196 patients. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2012;269:799-805.