HEARO: world’s first cochlear implant surgical robot receives CE-Mark

May 1, 2020

May 01, 2020 — (Bern, Switzerland / Innsbruck, Austria)— An exciting milestone in the future of cochlear implant surgery: HEARO, the world’s first image-guided robotic surgery platform for cochlear implants, has received CE-Mark approval. The HEARO platform is a joint initiative between leading hearing implant manufacturer MED-EL (Innsbruck, Austria) and medical technology company CAScination AG (Bern, Switzerland).

More than 20 patients have received a cochlear implant using the minimally invasive HEARO surgical procedure so far. Now, with CE-Mark approval, HEARO will be expanded to a number of cochlear implant centers across Europe for the next phase in clinical development and ongoing research.


From the first HEARO procedure in Bern and the first inner ear access with HEARO in Antwerp, to becoming the first and only image-guided CI surgical robot with the CE-mark, HEARO has continued to show very promising progress in leading a whole new era in cochlear implant surgery.  

What sets HEARO apart from traditional cochlear implant surgery? With HEARO, advanced image-guided surgical planning software (OTOPLAN) helps identify an optimal trajectory to access the round window of the cochlea.
HEARO uses this precise image-guidance and active monitoring to create a precise 1.8 mm tunnel access to the inner ear.


With image-guided direct access to the inner ear, HEARO takes minimally invasive surgery to a whole new level.

“We are very pleased with the progress of HEARO platform. Innovation has always been at the heart of MED-EL, and these technological advances are essential for improving the experiences of recipients around the world.
With this milestone, HEARO will now reach more clinics and candidates. Most importantly, the HEARO procedure empowers surgeons to achieve minimally invasive access to the cochlea, providing an ideal trajectory to insert an atraumatic electrode array fully into the cochlea.
This atraumatic approach helps to protect the delicate structures of the cochlea, which should be the goal for every cochlear implant candidate.” – Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO, MED-EL.
“We at CAScination believe that medical robotic technology should deliver outcomes on a level of reproducibility and predictability that are impossible to achieve otherwise.  
With the successful CE approval of the HEARO system – the first ever robotic system that enters the human body automatically – we have accomplished a significant milestone, taking advanced computing- and robotic technology forward in the treatment of CI patients. I am grateful and thankful for the whole team, who have been involved in this success throughout the past years. Together, we will bring more certainty and consistent quality to healthcare through innovative and transformative medical technology.” – Dr. Stefan Weber, CEO, CAScination AG.
In the coming months, HEARO will be utilized in select cochlear implant centers across Europe. For questions on HEARO, image-guided surgery, and ongoing research initiatives, please contact MED-EL.


About CAScination

CAScination AG, Switzerland is an award-winning medical technology company with a mission to use transformational technology to deliver certainty in patient outcomes. CAScination’s robotic and image-guided solutions enable physicians to perform reproducible and efficient treatments and provide patients with quality outcomes from minimally invasive therapies.

To date, almost 4,000 patients with liver, lung or kidney cancer were treated with its Quality Ablation® approach, enabled by advanced computer assisted and image guidance medical technology. Quality ablations are minimal-invasive ablation treatments providing best outcomes and optimal quality of life.

CAScination’s latest product platforms, OTOPLAN and HEARO, expand the company’s reach into image-guided robotic precision surgery for cochlear implants. www.cascination.com


About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 2,200 employees from around 75 nations and has 30 locations worldwide.

The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 124 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com


Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

Press contact

Patrick D`Haese 
MED-EL Medical Electronics 
Fürstenweg 77a 
6020 Innsbruck 

T: +43 5 7788-0 
E:  [email protected]