Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), a maker of implantable hearing solutions, and GN (GN.CO), a manufacturer of intelligent audio solutions, signed a new agreement to “significantly expand” their Smart Hearing Alliance collaboration, GN announced on its website.
The Smart Hearing Alliance was established in 2015 to develop the most integrated, best-in-class hearing solutions—giving hearing aid and cochlear implant recipients access to the latest in connectivity and wireless technology, and helping bimodal recipients to achieve seamless connectivity between a cochlear implant in one ear, and a GN hearing aid in the other. The deepening of this relationship includes joint research and development, shared technology, and strengthened global Smart Hearing Alliance commercial collaboration between Cochlear and GN Hearing, the hearing aid division of the GN Group.
Cochlear and GN Hearing are now strengthening focus on their integrated product offering and expanding their presence in the clinical hearing aid and implantable hearing solutions markets globally. According to the announcement, the vision for this new collaboration will include a focus on fast-moving connectivity and wireless technology to allow for closer integration between Cochlear and GN Hearing technologies. The two companies will leverage research and development investment to jointly develop firmware and software technologies.
In addition to technology sharing, the two companies will strengthen the commercial collaboration and work together to enable clinicians to deliver a more seamless solution and best-in-class hearing experience to their patients.
GN Hearing CFO Marcus Desimoni and Cochlear CEO and President Dig Howitt welcomed the signing of the expanded agreement.
Desimoni said: “This strengthened alliance is an important step forward for the millions of people around the world with disabling hearing loss—making the most advanced technology more accessible and simplifying the experience with more integrated solutions. GN Hearing is committed to advancing what is possible for people with hearing loss. This strategic partnership is a very smart and cost-effective way to expand the R&D capacity of both companies to reach our goals.”
Howitt said: “At Cochlear, we’re driven to develop hearing solutions that empower people to connect with others and live a full life. By expanding our collaboration with GN Hearing, we’re able to bring the latest in connectivity and wireless technology to our implant recipients more quickly. We’re also able to give bimodal recipients—those using a cochlear implant in one ear, and a hearing aid in the other—unparalleled performance and a seamless experience with both devices. As two leaders in our areas of hearing health, this collaboration demonstrates our commitment to design and bring to market the best hearing solutions available.”
This collaboration aims to improve the hearing outcomes for more people with moderate to profound hearing loss. In developing more integrated bimodal hearing solutions, Cochlear and GN Hearing have focused on helping to achieve greater connectivity for people—not only between the two companies’ devices, but also with Apple and Android technology. Most recently, Cochlear and GN Hearing collaborated to bring to market the what is said to be the “first Made for iPhone” Smart Bimodal Solution, enabling recipients to synchronize streaming to both ears from a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The Nucleus® 7 Bimodal Solution is delivered by using a Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor in one ear, a compatible ReSound hearing aid in the other ear, and a paired iPhone or iPod touch to control functionality for both hearing devices.
The Smart Hearing Alliance delivers bimodal solutions connecting Cochlear Nucleus cochlear implants, Cochlear Baha bone conduction implants, wireless accessories, and ReSound hearing aids.
Source: GN, Cochlear Ltd
Image: GN, Cochlear Ltd