An international group of hearing experts recommends care pathways for adult cochlear implantation

Jul 14, 2023

July 14, 2023 – (Sydney, Australia): Advanced Bionics, Cochlear, MED-EL, and GN Hearing collectively welcome the release of Living Guidelines for hearing care.1 The recommendations provide guidance for the hearing community, including patients, professionals, and payers to improve the standard of hearing care for adults. 1

The Living Guidelines define nine recommendations and 31 good practice statements across hearing screening, specialist referral and evaluation, rehabilitation, and patient outcomes.1 The two-year research project reviewed close to 14,000 peer-reviewed publications, involving a panel of 52 hearing experts from 23 countries, including those with living experience of hearing loss.1

Victoria E. Carr-Brendel, Ph.D., GVP, Sonova Group and President of Advanced Bionics, said, "we are proud to support these Living Guidelines that establish care pathways for adult cochlear implantation. With 30 years of experience in pioneering and refining cochlear implant technology, we are passionate about improving the lives of those with hearing loss. Guidelines like these ensure that more people will benefit from cochlear implants and enjoy a life without limitations."

Dig Howitt, CEO and President of Cochlear said, “the Living Guidelines sets out clear, practical, evidence-based recommendations to improve the standard of care and quality of life for adults living with hearing loss. Through clearer screening, diagnosis, referral, treatment and aftercare, thousands more people will be able to access the right treatment at the right time and reconnect to life.

Laurel Christensen, Ph.D. Chief Audiology Officer from GN Hearing stated that “GN Hearing recognises the importance of the Living Guidelines in setting a standard of care in the field of hearing health, specifically for individuals utilising cochlear implants and bimodal hearing solutions. By advocating for the implementation of these guidelines, we are committed to raising the standard of care worldwide and ensuring that individuals with hearing loss receive the highest level of support and innovation. Our dedication lies in driving continuous improvement and innovation to address the unique needs of individuals with hearing loss and to improve their overall quality of life.

Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO MED-EL commented that, “the Living Guidelines, focusing on unilateral cochlear implantation in adults, complement our work at MED-EL to ensure that everyone living with severe to profound hearing loss has equal access to quality hearing healthcare including cochlear implants and lifelong aftercare.  Working together with global partners, MED-EL is committed to driving positive change around the world and to establish bilateral cochlear implantation as a standard clinical practice for people to achieve their full hearing potential.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with hearing loss is set to reach 2.5 billion by 2050.

Age related hearing loss is associated with poorer quality of life as well as a broad range of negative effects on the communication partners of those affected.2 There has been growing evidence showing a link between hearing loss and dementia in older adults.2-7 

1.Cochlear Implant Task Force. Improving the standard of care for adults with hearing loss and the role of cochlear implantation: Living Guidelines. Available at Accessed 25th Feb 2023.
2. World report on hearing. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.S
3. Buchman et al, Unilateral Cochlear Implants for Severe, Profound, or Moderate Sloping to Profound Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss, A Systematic Review and Consensus Statements. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Oct 1;146(10):942-953.
4. Lin F.R., Yaffe K., Xia J., et al. Hearing loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Feb 25;173(4):293-9.
5. Mosnier et al. Improvement of Cognitive Function After Cochlear Implantation in Elderly Patients. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 May 1;141(5):442-50.
6. Mosnier et al. Long-Term Cognitive Prognosis of Profoundly Deaf Older Adults After Hearing Rehabilitation Using Cochlear Implants. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Aug;66(8):1553-1561.
7. Livingston et al 2020, Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020 Aug 8;396(10248):413-446.

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 and quality of life. 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 more than 2,600 employees from around 80 nations and 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 over 140 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.


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

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