"New era" in cochlear implants hailed by MED-EL after deal to share academics' "unimaginable" anatomy dataset



© Western University

Getting a really good look at something is invariably the key to progress, and Austrian implantable hearing solutions outfit, MED-EL, knows this well.

It is no surprise, then, that MED-EL is crowing about a new agreement with Western University (London, Canada) and the non-profit Canadian research organisation Mitacs to gain exclusive access to an extraordinary synchrotron dataset of temporal bones. This is no mere set of useful slides, the company points out, but a groundbreaking collection that offers the highest resolution and most comprehensive view of cochlear anatomy to date.

The synchrotron images provide an unprecedented level of detail, revealing individual variations in the length and shape of the inner ear. The payoff? Such information will provide remarkable opportunities for personalised and precise cochlear implantation procedures, and MED-EL is not stopping short on recognising its importance.

"This agreement marks the start of a new era in the field of cochlear implants," proclaims Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO of MED-EL. "We can now take into account candidates' individual inner ear specifics and anatomical characteristics to an extent that was previously unimaginable."

"By harnessing this cutting-edge dataset, we are now equipped with the tools and insights to revolutionize the entire process of cochlear implantation, from pre-operative planning to surgery and fitting," adds Hochmair.

Incredibly detailed insights mean flexibility and personalisation for cochlear implant patients

At the heart of the deal is a collaboration between MED-EL and Principal Investigators Sumit Agrawal and Hanif Ladak at Western University. This partnership brings the CI pioneer firm the academics' AI-based technology and software code, coupled with terabytes of image data. As well as providing a foundation for the further development of advanced surgical planning software solutions, MED-EL says these incredibly detailed insights will enable them to be even more flexible and tailored to individual patient needs, while revolutionising their decision-making process during the preoperative stage as well as in postoperative fitting.

"For cochlear implant recipients, this represents an unprecedented opportunity to achieve a new level of natural hearing," says the firm.

Source: MED-EL