April 12, 2020

The Future of Cochlear Implants

Hearing loss is on the rise. Unless this trend is reversed, it will mean higher direct costs for health systems. The need will grow for ear and hearing care services and related technologies, such as hearing devices, cochlear implants, and others. If these needs are not met, this would be detrimental not only for individuals in terms of social isolation and increased poverty but also for societies as a whole, due to lower productivity. A number of governments around the world have recognized the importance of mitigating current trends by preventing hearing loss in the first instance. Several factors like growing global population, rising genetic diseases, and infections leading to hearing loss, increasing geriatric population and others are all together driving the increase in hearing loss worldwide. According to the report published by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, 466 million people across the globe suffered from hearing loss and the number is expected to rise to 630 million by 2030 and 900 million by 2050. Therefore, owing to the above-mentioned factors, the market is likely to fuel its growth during the forecast period.

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Over the past several decades, developments in the field of microelectronics and advances in signal processing techniques not only helped make CIs a reality, but led to increased efficiency and effectiveness of these CI devices in patients.

In this section, the authors describe 3 lines of ongoing and future research:

  1. Hearing preservation
  2. Optical stimulation of auditory neurons
  3. Protection, generation and replacement of neural structures in the cochlea

Many of the emerging countries are preferred location for medical tourism. Asia is one of the most preferred medical tourism destinations drawing increasing numbers of patients for treatment. Medical tourist visits Asia for plastic surgeries, weight loss surgeries, cochlear surgery, cardiovascular surgery, and orthopedic treatment. The cost of these surgical procedures is comparatively less than in emerging nations as compared to developed countries. According to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, in 2017, Over 1,050,000+ healthcare travelers visited Malaysia for healthcare purposes. Also, India has witnessed a sudden increase in the number of patients coming to India for Cochlear implant surgery. Patients with hearing defects come to India mainly from the Middle East countries like Oman and Iran and from a few Western world countries.

After a brief historical survey, this review paper describes in more detail the evolving areas of innovation in CI technology as:

  • Remote CI programming
  • Totally implanted devices
  • Improved neural health and survival through targeted drug therapy and delivery
  • Intraneural electrode placement
  • Electroacoustical stimulation and hybrid Cis

Cochlear Implants in Thailand are performed by some of the most experienced and skilled surgeons. These hospitals have ground-breaking technology like robotic surgery, top-class medical amenities, and high-end infrastructure. All these facilities are accessible at affordable prices, making Thailand a preferred destination for cochlear surgery. The cost of surgery, after-care, and sightseeing are available at almost half the price when compared with the cost offered in the US or UK.

Source: The Insight Partners