Silicon & Software Systems
Cochlear implants and sound processors enable individuals with substantial hearing loss to hear. Once implanted, creating an individual 'hearing profile' for the recipient using fitting software is an essential part of making this possible. Remote Assistant Fitting makes it possible for the recipient to make adjustments and optimise sound for their specific hearing needs without the need for returning to the clinic, or use of a wired computer system. The Remote Assistant is a compact, hand-held wireless device with an intuitive user interface that enables the creation and fine tuning of a hearing profile.
Traditionally, following implantation, fitting software is used by a clinician, usually a cochlear implant audiologist, to create a personalised hearing profile for the recipient in a clinical setting. The Remote Assistant and Remote Assistant Fitting enable the audiologist to go, for example, to a child in their natural play environment and wirelessly create a hearing profile for them – without the need for them to be tethered to a computer or chair. Excellent hearing outcomes are created through 'real life' fitting.
Remote Assistant Fitting, using the Remote Assistant, enables a user to measure signals in the implant, create a profile or implement a generic profile, assign master volume levels, and adjust the treble and base, which are vital in providing the most comfortable, best quality sound possible for the recipient. The Remote allows for this to be done by a non-cochlear implant programmer without the need for a programming pod or PC.
Enabling a recipient to make adjustments to their own hearing profile in real life scenarios creates a sense of empowerment and allows them to actively take control of their own hearing health. Remote Assistant Fitting reduces the need for the recipient to travel to the clinic for programming, reduces other indirect costs such as lost work and/or school time, and increases clinic efficiency providing the possibility of business growth for clinicians and, ultimately, to help more people hear.
Remote Assistant Fitting enables an audiology practice to program a recipient by a more junior audiologist, saving time, decreasing staff costs, but importantly, allowing senior audiologists to focus their efforts on caring for more complex cases that require expert counselling and habilitation. Guidance is given on "when to see your hearing professional" if hearing outcomes are not improving or a problem cannot be resolved by the recipient adjusting their profile.
Currently, recipients and parents have an anxious wait of four to six weeks after implantation until the device is 'switched on'. Remote Assistant Fitting makes early activation of the implant possible after surgery, giving parents and recipients confirmation of success at the earliest opportunity.