Can somebody please tell me why Cochlear Implant manufactures have not embraced modern wireless technology? They do, but perhaps not in the way you think.
Why do we not see a:
Wireless, fully implanted electrode. Protected from all environmental elements. Swim, shower, extremely heat/cold no problem. Fully implanted systems have been around for a while, processors are often placed externally to allow easier updates, program improvements and swap over in the case of failures. Part of I project I worked on 20 years ago at knowles was to do with development of hermetically sealed mics for one of the big CI manufacturers, it didn’t really work out that well at the time.
Wireless mics. Could be worn as a tie-clip, necklace, earrings. Maybe wear two strategically placed on your body. Yes they can, but you still need a power supply for each element. Increased energy density means that some mic clips are quite small, but pin-head sized devices that transmit all day are some way off. Plus you need and agreed BAN standard that all your devices sing along happily to. That’s only just now happening from iPhone to other devices via BLE.
Wireless sound processor/power supply. iPhone type devise that powers the whole system from your pocket or purse. Speed, latency and still more batteries, anything that’s doing full time transmit and receive is just burning juice, juice that can be used for on site processing.
Totally invisible and far more user friendly. Totally invisible? Mics with battery supplies? As for user friendliness, I’m sure the ergonomics can use some work, but you’ve got to put a processor somewhere and the batteries.
All of this technology already exists and is readily available. - All of the tech to make flying cars has been around since the 1950s, but that hasn’t quite hit maturity yet either. I’m not belittling your issue, it must be incredibly tough to deal with, but having some insight into both the HA and CI industry: Even making one component hermetically sealed is a task, placing an aerial which is on a constant microwave transmit/receive cycle within open tissue is a whole different ask.
Surgery would be far less traumatic and invasive. Less stuff to cram into ones head. Less in what way? more transducers, more aerials, more batteries, more things to go wrong and get sued over.
Device already has FDA approval. Would only be a formality to take it Wireless. Perhaps you need to look a bit closer at what you’re asking in terms of standards, transmission and power requirements.
An invisible CI of this nature would cause this medical device market to explode. Millions more people would be implanted. Yeah in the not too distant future when we can routinely cyborg ourselves up with implantable tech. We aren’t miles away from it now, but there are some fairly major hurdles to resolve first.
This tech based industry has bee shockingly stagnant since 1980. Seriously! Not sure about that, you can ask pretty much any hearing aid wearer how their current hearing aid works vs. the on they had ten years ago. CI development has been a spin off of that, there’s less demand though, so improvements have been slower.
With the exception of a soft bendable electrode array, there has not been one significant improvement to this 1980 electrode technology in over threee decades. This is a travesty - that’s largely down to the size of the human cochlea though. The resolution of the number of nodes on the insert filament has gone from 5 to 20ish on my last read through, but there’s an engineering limit on that resolution due to the physical separation of those strands and the circumference of the oval window.