Cochlear Implants: Facts

Ingeborg Hochmair, Sept. 2013

MED-EL’s vision for 2020 is to give the majority of children born with a hearing loss access to cochlear implants before the age of five. Early intervention is important for children born with a hearing loss, because only at a very young age will they have the ability to develop listening and speaking skills through the help of an implant.

Annual Sales of Cochlear Implants

From 30 June, 2012–30 June, 2013, approximately 50,000 cochlear implants were sold. Given the world population of about seven billion, this means that roughly seven cochlear implants per million individuals are sold each year.

During this period:​

  • MED-EL sold 14,027 cochlear implants. This is approximately a 28% market share
  • COCHLEAR sold 26,674 cochlear implants. This is approximately a 53% market share.
  • All other companies combined sold 9,000 cochlear implants. This is approximately 18% of the market. These figures are estimates based on the revenue figures published by cochlear implant manufacturers Advanced Bionics, owned by Sonova, Switzerland; Neurelec, owned by William Demant, Denmark; Nurotron, China; and other minor activities.

Cochlear Implant Usage by Children

Approximately 30,000 of these 50,000 cochlear implants were received by children. Some of these children received bilateral implants, which means that 25,000 individual children received unilateral or bilateral cochlear implants.

Cochlear Implant Requirements to Meet MED-EL's Vision

An estimated 134 million children are born each year, and this figure is predicted to remain stable for several years. Of these, approximately 1–3 newborns per thousand have a hearing loss that can be treated only with a cochlear implant.

This means that up to 134,000 cochlear implants would be needed annually to provide one cochlear implant for each child born with a severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. If current rates of bilateral implantation are considered, this number would increase to approximately 160,000 cochlear implants per year.

Given current production rates of 50,000 cochlear implants manufactured per year, meeting this demand for children requires a production increase of 130,000 cochlear implants per year.


© 2017 MED-EL

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