I’m not sure this is the proper location for my question – i.e. as a possible scam – but my recent introduction to the Esteem Hearing Implant prompts me to ask: What is it all about? The product claims to be an “Invisible Hearing Device for People With Sensorineural Hearing Loss”. Are there any members of this group that have successfully – or unsuccessfully – gone this route, following frustrations with hearing aids? The provider presents numerous positive testimonials and their follow up is almost instantaneous – maybe too quickly(?).
I tried, unsuccessfully, to search this forum for Esteem references, and I just may not be looking in the right places. It would appear that one would almost have to buy a part of the company (cited $33,000 for the implant surgery & device – and unknown costs of follow-up), BUT – Is the promoted performance too good to be true?
May I please have any thoughts, experiences, references, whatever
I looked at their website last night. It had a number of testimonials, which looked somewhat scripted. It had a couple of people going on about how they could hear the birds sing and hear the sea - which is complete nonsense to suggest that this is not possible with modern hearing aids. I have been able to hear the sea and birds singing for 30 years. I am sick of this cliché of hearing aid advertising, it’s totally ridiculous.
What the testimonials don’t say, is whether the performance of the implant exceeds that of the latest premium aids. There seemed to be very little in the way of qualitative/quantitative data and studies to demonstrate its efficacy. It could very well be a brilliant step forward, but the burden of proof must be on the company - Envoy Medical.
Given the expense and surgical issues, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.
to Mr. Cyborg - I think what you are saying is that the Envoy Esteem Implant device shown is 1) The sound processor, 2) the eardrum microphone, 3) the transducer to the cochlea, and 4) the Speech processor all rolled into one, while being totally implantable & invisible – correct?? That’s what the Envoy literature shows. What I trying to find out on this hearing aid forum is what do Esteem users say, over & beyond what I can hear from product testimonials on the Envoy website. Why has this product not been discussed since it has been around for – how many years? – 4+?
The cochlea has 16,000 hair cells and these implantable cochlear (CI) devices have orders of magnitude less nodes as a substitute. The sound quality will not be on the level of even an ultra power hearing aid.
CI is a compromise for certain people, typically those at the 120dB+ loss level. The big catch is, going the CI route is a dead end as far as being able to utilize regenerative autologous stem cell therapy.
Very interesting TED Talk. Thanks for the link. I’d still like to know if anyone from this Forum has any comments concerning the Esteem implant system – pro or con. With reference to the TED Talk, how does music sound with the Esteem implant aid, for example? Also, if one has an Esteem implant, is that a life commitment – i.e. with no possibility of future (stem cell?) improvements?
I went through the process of studying up on the Esteem, and I ignored the “featured testimonials”. I went straight to 3rd-party blogs, which led me to an Envoy recipient facebook group (not affiliated with Envoy Medical). Last I checked, there were about 80 or 90 members. Reading the responses on that group sold me on the technology. According to almost everyone, sound is clearer and more natural than with hearing aids. The device is more powerful than most traditional hearing aids, peaking it’s power 2 kHz right in the middle of the audible spectrum. There are no feedback, distortion or occlusion issues like you have with high-powered aids. Once you get past surgery, it is pretty convenient to never have to change batteries or take it out. And yes, it’s invisible. Someone posted a question asking how many people wish they hadn’t gotten the implant, and out of 40+ responses, no one had regrets.
If you are frustrated with hearing aids and you have the money or your insurance will pick it up, the Esteem is probably well worth the money.
Envoy Medical is working on a totally-implantable cochlear implant, but the truth is that it’s pretty complicated. The Esteem is actually just an analog relay, a fact that they don’t publish on their website. In order to convert vibrations from the stapes bone into a cochlear electrode array, they would need design a digital processor to convert these vibrations into electrical impulses. It took decades to design a processor to properly process and convert sound into the electrical impulses that an implant sends to the cochlea. I’m sure that acoustical vibrations are similarly difficult.