Before the first implantable Cochlear™ Baha® System was launched, one of the only solutions
available to those that could not benefit from air conduction hearing aids was bone
conductors fitted to steel headbands or glasses. Although it is commonly agreed that a preoperative
trial is important to provide candidates with realistic expectations,1-3 similar devices
are still being used for patients testing bone conduction as part of the counselling process for
an implantable solution. In 2002, the Baha Softband was developed by Cochlear as a solution
for children that were too young, or not ready for an implantable solution. This device has
sometimes been used as a demo solution, providing a more comfortable alternative to
headbands or testbands. However, the aesthetics of the Softband do not appeal to everyone.
Indeed, previous research has shown that the most common reason to reject the proposal of
an implantable bone conduction solution is the cosmesis.4 It could be hypothesized that the
use of steel headbands and the Softband as demonstration devices have created additional
barriers to the adoption of an implantable solution. Clinicians have also raised concerns that
for older children that reject the Softband due to aesthetics there is no alternative solution,
which in the worst case may leave them without amplification. This whitepaper summarizes
the outcomes from the testing performed on the Cochlear Baha SoundArc to ensure it meets
the expectations of users and their hearing care professionals.
For results found in the study, please see the entire Design concept, technical verification and patient testing of the new Cochlear™ Baha® SoundArc White Paper.