MED-EL USA, a provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, announced the launch of its participation in the 4th annual international Ideas4Ears Children’s Invention Contest. The contest invites children from the United States aged 6-12 years old to create an invention to improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss. 

Related article: Eight-Year-Old Kenzi Cayton Wins MED-EL’s ‘Ideas4Ears’ Competition

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 contest is focusing on the needs of children who are in school remotely and families who are practicing social distancing. While stressful for many people, trouble hearing while participating in video calls and difficulty lip-reading with someone wearing a mask, highlight how COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for people with hearing loss.

“Often the challenging times in life spur on the greatest creativity and innovations. The pandemic has shown how important communication is to function in everyday life. It is even more critical during times such as these to support people with hearing loss and help those who may have trouble keeping connected in their communities,” said Geoffrey Ball, Chief Technical Officer at MED-EL and inventor of the Vibrant Soundbridge middle ear implant.

Individual country finalists and grand-prize winners of this year’s Ideas4Ears contest will be in the running to receive a new computer or electronic tablet, as well as other fun and educational materials to support remote learning.

Documents, videos, and illustrations can be uploaded to support an entry at: The deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday, January 17, 2021, and winners will be announced later in the month.

Ideas4Ears is an annual contest that was launched in 2017, and has since had more than 750 entries submitted from children living in 38 different countries around the world.

Source: MED-EL