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.
Design concept, technical verification and patient testing of the new Cochlear™ Baha® SoundArc (white paper)
1. Desmet J, Bouzegta R, Hofkens A, De Backer A, Lambrechts P, Wouters K, Claes J, De Bodt M, Van de Heyning P. Clinical need for a Baha trial in patients with single-sided sensorineural deafness. Analysis of a Baha database of 196 patients. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2012; 269(3):799-805.
Cochlear Guest Author
Staying Connected: Tips to help patients connect their Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 and Baha® 5 Sound Processor(s) to their iPhone®
By Skylar Mason
Thanks to the Made for iPhone connectivity of the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 and Baha® 5 Sound Processors, staying connected is easier than ever. Your patients can stream calls, music, and other sounds straight from their phone to their sound processor.
Here are some ways to take your patients’ hearing to the next level with Cochlear’s Made for iPhone technology:
Pairing a sound processor to a phone is simple and Cochlear has made it even easier with video tutorials. Click the links below to watch the step-by-step process or follow the instructions below:
Pairing a Nucleus 7 Sound Processor:
Unlock the iPhone®. Go to ‘Settings,’ tap ‘General,’ and then tap ‘Accessibility.’ Navigate to ‘MFi Hearing Devices’. Then, turn the sound processor off and back on again. The Apple® device will then search for the sound processor and display it in the ‘Devices’ section. Tap on the name of the sound processor and it will bring up a Bluetooth® pairing request. Tap ‘Pair’ and it will connect. The patient will hear six beeps to indicate that pairing has started. The sound processor light will flash blue for four seconds. The pairing will be finished when your patient hears a ripple tone and the sound processor light flashes blue for another four seconds. (Note: The pairing process may take up to two minutes.)
If your patient is bilaterally implanted, both of the sound processors need to be paired at the same time. Just tap ‘Pair’ to connect each of them individually.
Pairing a Baha 5 Sound Processor:
Make sure the sound processor is turned off. Unlock the iPhone. Go to ‘Settings’, tap ‘General’ and then tap ‘Accessibility.’ Leave that page open as you turn on the sound processor (by closing the battery door.) Then navigate to ‘MFi Hearing Devices’.
Tap on the name of the sound processor and it will bring up a Bluetooth pairing request. Tap ‘Pair’ and it will connect. The sound processor will beep with an upward trill to indicate the pairing is complete. (Note: The pairing process may take up to two minutes.)
Share this illustrated guide to iPhone connectivity with a Baha 5 sound processor with your patients.
- Stream audio straight to the processor
Now that your patient’s iPhone is connected, they may be wondering exactly how to use it. The answer to that depends on how they use their iPhone—the possibilities are endless!
Here’s a few ideas to get started:
- Stream audio from phone calls directly to the sound processor
- FaceTime® without worrying about volume
- Listen to music discreetly- no headphones needed!
- Watch videos or shows from streaming apps
- Play games
- Use it to hear GPS directions clearly
- Utilize the Smart App
As part of the Made for iPhone connectivity, both the Nucleus 7 and Baha 5 sound processors have apps that allow patients to control their processor’s settings—directly from the palm of their hand.
The Nucleus Smart App allows them to monitor their battery life, adjust the mixing ratio to increase/decrease background noise, track their progress with a Hearing Tracker and locate a lost or misplaced sound processor.
The Baha 5 Smart App allows them to change programs, activate streaming and adjust their processor volume. They can also adjust treble and bass to customize their settings and locate a lost or misplaced sound processor.
The Cochlear website offers a ton of resources to help recipients connect their sound processor(s) to their phone—check it out: iPhone connectivity.
About our guest author:
Skylar Mason is a journalism student, Baha recipient, and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner. She is excited to join the team at Cochlear as an intern to tell the stories of other CI and Baha recipients! She attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear is under license.
The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is compatible with the Nucleus Profile Series, CI500 Series, CI24RE (Freedom) Series, CI24R and CI24M implants. The timeframe for Nucleus 7 Sound Processor compatibility for other implants depends on research and development timelines, manufacturing processes and regulatory approvals.
The Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility
Apple, the Apple logo, Made for iPad logo, Made for iPhone logo, Made for iPod logo, iPhone, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
The Cochlear Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility
The Baha® System can help your pediatric patients with mixed or conductive hearing loss
For pediatric patients with mixed or conductive hearing loss (MHL/CHL) a bone conduction hearing solution may be the best treatment option. Through bone conduction, sound is delivered naturally through the bone directly to the cochlea, independent of the outer and middle ear.
The Cochlear™ Baha® System leverages this natural process by amplifying sound signals, converting them into vibrations and transmitting them to the cochlea. Many hearing care professionals agree that for MHL and CHL the Baha System is a more effective solution than air conduction devices.1 The Baha System offers a trio of powerful sound processors to meet individual needs. With access to Made for iPhone, Android compatibility and True Wireless™ accessories, patients are always connected to the sounds of life. The Baha System is unique in that it allows patients to demonstrate the benefits of the system prior to implantation. For pediatric patients under the age of five, non-surgical options are available until they are ready for implantation. The brand new SoundArc, and the similar Softband, are great options for children. The SoundArc and Softband give children the opportunity for early and consistent access to sound in order to promote speech and language development.
Candidacy and Evaluation
Candidacy evaluation for an implantable bone conduction system includes audiological testing as well as a personal trial with the Baha System. The patient’s air-bone gap can be a guide to the benefits that can be expected from choosing a Baha System. There may also be medical indications, which show that a bone conduction implant system will be the best solution. If possible, compare the results of the functional gain measurements in the sound field booth, with and without the sound processor.
Implantation can be achieved once the surgeon determines sufficient bone thickness and quality, which can vary among individuals. In the United States and Canada, labeling states that a bone-anchored implant can be placed at 5 years of age and older.
For infants or children who are not ready for implantation, Cochlear recommends the Baha Softband or the new Baha SoundArc. Both are nonsurgical options for children under age 5. This can be a good indication of the possible benefits the Baha System may provide for a child. It can also help make the decision easier to implant the child, once benefits have been observed.
It is critical to give pediatric patients early access to sound in order to promote speech and language development. Children who receive hearing rehabilitation before the age of six months perform significantly better in language tests at the age of 3 to 4 years than children who are treated later2. Studies conclude that delay in intervention may lead to permanent language deficit.2
Treatment and Fitting
When treating a pediatric Baha patient with MHL/CHL, it is important to choose the correct sound processor to ensure adequate power/gain. The benefit of a more powerful sound processor is most obvious at higher frequencies because these are weakened to a greater extent than low frequencies when passing through the skin.3 When using the SoundArc, Softband or Baha Attract System skin attenuation should be kept in mind.
Research suggests that pediatric patients with binaural MHL/CHL should be fitted with bilateral sound processors using the Baha Softband or SoundArc. 2, 4 Since early access to sound is crucial, it is best that a pediatric patient is fitted with Baha Sound Processors before the age of six months.2, 4
In conclusion, the Baha System offers a powerful portfolio of solutions for adults and pediatrics with MHL and CHL. The Baha portfolio includes different surgical and non-surgical options and a trio of powerful sound processors to meet individual needs.
If you are interested in bringing the Baha system into your clinical practice, please reach out to your Cochlear Field Team today. Don’t know who your Field Team members are? Call: 1-800-523-5798 or 303-790-9010 and we can connect you today!
If you are already a Baha provider, please right-click and save the infographic below to use during counseling.
* Play audiometry can be carried out with warble tones, speech or animal sounds.
Snik AF, Mylannus EA, Proops DW, et al. Consensus statements on the BAHA system where do we stand at present? The Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2005; 195:1-12.
Yoshinaga-Itano C. Early Intervention after universal neo-natal hearing screening: impact on outcomes. Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2003;9(4):252-66.
Håkansson B, Tjellström A., Rosenhall U. Hearing thresholds with direct bone conduction versus conventional bone conduction. Scand Audiol. 1984; 13(1):3-13.
Dun CA, de Wolf MJ, Mylanus EA, Snik AF, Hol MK, Cremers CW. Bilateral bone-anchored hearing aid application in children: The Nijmegen experience from 1996 to 2008. Otol Neurotol. 2010; 31(4):615-23.
Mylanus EAM, van der Pouw KCTM, Snik AFM, Cremers CWRJ. Intraindividual Comparison of the Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid and Air-Conduction Hearing Aids. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998; 124(3):271–276. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.3.268