Advanced Bionics introduces MRI carefree CI technology

Advanced Bionics introduces the HiRes™ Ultra 3D Cochlear Implant at Ci2018. Built on the HiRes™ Ultra platform, the new implant is MRI safe, hassle-free and pain-free for recipients undergoing MRI examinations. Even for high resolution MRI examinations there is no need to remove the magnet and no requirement for head bandaging, meaning no hearing downtime for the patient.

Hansjuerg Emch, Group Vice President Cochlear Implants (CI), Sonova, says “After many years of research and development, our new cochlear implants will improve the quality of life for our recipients due to our hassle free and pain free magnet technology. We are leading the way and ensuring our recipients have the best possible experiences with our technological advances. It’s a powerful innovation and makes our efforts so rewarding”.

This design is the first of its kind that allows the magnet to orientate itself with the magnetic field lines of an external magnetic field in three dimensions. This allows the cochlear implant recipients to move freely around in the strong magnetic field of an MRI machine without feeling pain or discomfort, and without any restrictions to the orientation of the head. With two-dimensional magnets, the head cannot be tilted more than 30 degrees otherwise the patient may experience pain.

Previously, patients and surgeons have had to contend with the strong magnet field from MRI machines exerting force on the magnet, causing torque and subsequent pain if the magnet remained in situ, even with head bandaging. It was common to remove the magnet for high resolution MRI examinations, requiring out-patient surgery and interrupting the patient’s hearing during the healing process.

MRI examinations are already a standard of care for health care professionals and with this in mind AB developed a new magnet technology that is compatible with MRI examinations, allowing patients’ peace of mind for any future health complications that necessitate an MRI examination. And with the future in mind the new technology has been designed to undergo heavy usage of MRI procedures without any loss of magnetic strength or mobility of the magnet components.

The Ultra 3D magnet technology has been submitted for Regulatory Body approval and it is expected to be available in the European market within the coming months.