We’ve known that Apple has an interest in iOS-based hearing aids for some time, as they’ve worked with various manufacturers to bring these devices to the market. Now, Cochlear has teamed up with Apple to make the first cochlear implant sound processor that is specifically made for the iPhone. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, which promises to be both the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear device of its kind that’s currently available, was approved by the FDA back in June.
The Nucleus 7 works natively with the iPhone. Users can go to the Accessibility settings of their device (locating in “Settings” then “General”) and pair it the same way you do a Bluetooth device. After that, the volume control on the iPhone will control the implant’s settings. You can do even more by downloading the Nucleus Smart App, including location tracking to figure out the last place the Nucleus 7 was connected (handy for lost devices).
Cochlear also is selling the Made for iPhone Bimodal Solution, which consists of a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other ear. This allows for synced streaming into both ears from your compatible iOS device — you just need one of Cochlear’s ReSound hearing aids.
Interested consumers have to wait until September 2017 for the Nucleus 7, and it will only be available in the US and Canada. If you have a Nucleus CI24RE, CI500 or a Profile Series implant, then you’ll be eligible for an upgrade starting in October. Tech advances and partnerships such as this are always welcome news. With over 360 million people worldwide suffering from serious hearing loss, it’s nice to see companies working together to make a positive impact on their lives.