An independent study carried out at the University hospital in Quebec, Canada on the latest technology from the four major cochlear implant manufactures, clearly shows that the Saphyr neo collection sound processor gives better results for its users when it comes to speech understanding in quiet and in noisy situations. These results confirms other studies done on this new advanced sound processing.
Oticon Medical has obtained 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market Ponto Plus, our newest family of bone anchored sound processors. New Ponto Plus is available in regular and power versions that feature a new transducer, Inium feedback shield and new wireless capabilities. The new sound processors are designed for use with Oticon Medical’s proprietary OptiFit™ and OptiGrip™ implant design concepts that have also been cleared by the FDA for use in tissue-preserving surgery.
Built on the Inium platform, the latest chip technology from Oticon Medical’s sister company Oticon, the Ponto Plus family features a new powerful transducer, an efficient and innovative Inium feedback shield and the newest Bluetooth 2.4 GHz wireless technology, all designed to deliver better sound quality, less feedback and fewer artificial sounds. Innovative wireless capabilities make it possible to connect Ponto Plus directly to smart phones, to loop systems in public venues and to other modern communication devices to allow conversation, music and other sounds to transmit from the Ponto Streamer directly to the sound processor. Used in combination with Oticon Medical’s proprietary OptiFit™ and OptiGrip™ implant design concepts, Ponto Plus supports exciting new tissue-preserving surgical possibilities for clinicians to increase long term prospects and well-being for new and experienced users of hearing implant technology.
“Ponto Plus is the most advanced family of bone anchored hearing solutions ever,” says Oticon Medical President Jes Olsen. “We are bringing the newest innovations in sound processing to the hearing implant arena just six months after these new technologies were first introduced in conventional hearing aids. Our ability to rapidly advance bone anchored hearing solutions with new technologies, such as the powerful Inium platform, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to identify new competencies and methods that will empower physicians to achieve the best possible results for patients. By delivering more benefits to patients through superior sound quality, power solutions, connectivity options, tissue-preserving surgery and other breakthroughs, we aim to significantly expand the market for bone anchored solutions.”
Available in regular (down to a hearing loss of 45 dB) and power versions (down to a hearing loss of 55 dB), Ponto Plus is the most powerful ear-level bone anchored sound processor family. The optimized design of the transducer increases the maximum output in the mid and high frequency range to reproduce louder sounds so that users can enjoy more everyday sounds without the sounds becoming distorted.
The Inium feedback shield uses a variety of advanced signal processing tools to minimize feedback including, for the first time in a bone anchored hearing system, a novel frequency shift, designed to give Ponto Plus users less whistling and fewer artificial sounds as they move through changing sound environments throughout the day.
Ponto Plus users can enjoy communicating in a wide variety of situations, all controlled through one user-friendly device. The addition of the new Ponto Streamer turns Ponto Plus into a wireless headset, connecting users wirelessly to a range of audio sources including TV, laptops, mobile and landline phones and other communication devices. A built-in telecoil allows the Ponto Streamer to pick up audio signals and send them directly to the sound processor so users can easily access loop systems in theatres, lecture halls and other public venues. Users can stream audio from remote microphones, which help in situations where the other person is far away or surroundings might be noisy, or both. The Ponto Streamer can also act as a remote control, creating an easy way for users to change programs or adjust volume, and built-in jacks allow simple connections to FM systems, music players and computers.
Ponto Plus has been robustly designed to meet the challenges of active lives and everyday activities, and is IP57 certified. The durable and reliable design reduces wind noise and limits water, dust and debris from getting inside the processor. The housing is nano-coated to repel water. In addition to earning IP57 certification, Ponto Plus is now FDA cleared, CE marked and meets EU safety requirements.
In 2009, Oticon Medical advanced bone anchored hearing systems into the world of digital hearing technology. With new Ponto Plus, Oticon Medical continues to be a pioneer in creating innovative patient-centered solutions that address everyday quality of life challenges.
“With Ponto Plus, we have created a second full family of sound processors that offers exciting new features designed to provide superior sound quality and enhanced communication possibilities in situations users need most,” says Olsen. “The Ponto Plus family introduces more reasons for people to consider bone anchored solutions for the first time or to upgrade from their current sound processors.”
With the acquisition of Neurelec SA by parent company William Demant Group, Oticon Medical enters a strategically important growth area for hearing implant technology. Neurelec is a pioneer in cochlear implant technology that benefits people with severe to profound hearing loss. Cochlear implant technology represents a natural next step for Oticon Medical, a company that in just three years has captured nearly a quarter of the world market in bone anchored hearing solutions for conductive or mixed hearing loss and single-sided deafness. The integration of Neurelec’s cochlear implant expertise with Oticon’s strengths in audiology, signal processing and wireless technology creates the potential for highly innovative products. These synergies, combined with the considerable reach of Oticon Medical’s international distribution network, will increase the ability to bring treatment and successful outcomes to more patients than ever before.
“Oticon Medical and Neurelec are a great strategic fit. Together, they enable us to bring more expertise, more experience and more patient-centered innovation to
a healthcare arena with growing patient demand,” says Oticon Medical President Jes Olsen. “Cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing solutions address dif-ferent patient groups, and the two product areas complement and extend each other perfectly. Our focus has consistently been on solutions for users that have the strongest needs and we can now offer our professional partners a broader range of implant hearing technology with exceptional sound quality, enhanced aesthetics, user friendliness and reliability.”
The acquisition of Neurelec provides a solid platform for continued growth that optimizes each company’s core competencies in their respective areas of implant hearing care. Neurelec, headquartered in Sophia Antipolis, France, has solid in-house R&D capabili-ties, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a reputation for high quality cochlear implant technology. The two companies will work closely to develop synergies and the present Neurelec organization in France will be preserved.
Oticon Medical will use the company’s considerable distribution power to support growth and increase share in a market
for cochlear implants that has shown annual growth of more than 10% in the past several years. The acquisition gives Neurelec access to valuable resources within the William Demant Group including capital investment in the development of enhanced implant hearing technology for severe hearing losses. As businesses within the William Demant Group, both companies will also benefit from Oticon’s established manufacturing and logistics infra-structure and 100-plus years of experience in audiology and sound processing and leadership in super power hearing solutions.
“The vision of Oticon Medical is to create life-long patient outcomes,” says Olsen. “Our starting point will always be patients’ everyday challenges and how we can provide innovative solutions that will enable them to realize their full potential and live life to the full. Our new capabilities in cochlear implants increase the potential to achieve that goal for more patients than ever before.”
Oticon Medical distributes the Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System to a worldwide network of physicians, audiologists and specialty clinics. Neurelec’s cochlear implants are sold to hospitals primarily in France and a few select markets. The ambition is to expand the cochlear implant business internationally and make Neurelec a global player. In the short term, the companies will continue to operate in their current markets and will use a market-by-market approach to reach out to more end-users worldwide.
For more information on cochlear implants and Neurelec, please visit www.neurelec.com/en