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Trial of advanced bone-anchored hearing aid for children and adults

06/08/2016
Tufts Medical Center is currently involved in a controlled market release of a bone-anchored hearing aid, the Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor from Cochlear, a company known for its implantable devices.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently cleared the Baha 5 SuperPower for use in the United States, and Tufts Medical Center is only one of two locations in all of New England offering this state-of-the-art technology.

Designed for children and adults with higher degrees of mixed hearing loss, the Baha 5 SuperPower is the only bone conduction solution with direct-to-device wireless technology that allows users to stream audio directly from iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, as well as through Bluetooth connectivity to other electronic devices and televisions. While a traditional hearing aid tries to “push” sound through the damaged part of the ear, the Baha 5 SuperPower bypasses the damaged area by using bone conduction to send sound either directly to the inner ear or to the opposite ear in cases of single-sided deafness. This results in a greater hearing experience for patients with mixed and conductive hearing loss, as well as those with single-sided deafness.

The first and only behind-the-ear bone conduction sound processor, patients utilizing the Baha 5 SuperPower have improved hearing and speech understanding, especially in noisy situations.

At the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, response to the new Baha 5 SuperPower system has been extremely positive. Molly, one of the first patients fitted with the Baha 5 Superpower Sound Processor, is being managed by pediatric audiologist, Dr. Lauren Seafert, and pediatric ENT-otolaryngologist, Dr. Mark Vecchiotti

This is what Molly’s parents have to say about their daughter’s progress with the Baha 5 SuperPower technology:

Molly, a pediatric patient being fit with a new hearing-aid device at Floating Hospital for Children in Boston, and her sister. “We just wanted to send you a quick update on Molly and her new hearing aid. She loves it and wears it all day! We have seen a huge difference in Molly since she started wearing the new one last one week. She is more vocal, more attentive, more engaged, and can definitely hear better. She even stopped and looked—while she was watching TV—when she heard a knock on the door. We have never seen her do this before! 

Molly also sat on the couch and watched a DVD on TV while sitting next to Kaitlyn {her sister}. The microphone was connected to the TV, and she was very attentive and laughed and swayed when familiar songs came on like “Wheels on the Bus.” She sat next to Kaitlyn for about half an hour, which is something she has never done before for that long, and then they looked at books together. Normally she has to sit in a booster chair on a dining room chair closer to the TV and separate from Kaitlyn and the rest of us.

Molly, a pediatric patient being fit with a new hearing-aid device at Floating Hospital for Children in Boston.School has also seen a difference in Molly, as she has been more engaged, more aware, and making lots of vocalizations!! The difference in such a short time is amazing.”

If you think your child is a suitable candidate for a fitting with the Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor, contact the Floating Hospital For Children at Tufts Medical Center (617-636-2820) for a consultation.