MED-EL collaborates with Microsoft to develop new accessible communication technology for people with hearing loss

Jun 17, 2024

June 17, 2024 – (Innsbruck, Austria): Hearing loss is on the rise, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that 1 in 5 people already live with hearing loss. Many face daily challenges in communicating, from talking to friends, family, teachers, and colleagues to enjoying entertainment like watching their favourite TV show or listening to music. Today, two global technology leaders have joined forces to help connect people with hearing loss to the world around them.

  • Leading hearing implant innovators MED-EL collaborates with Microsoft to help enhance communication technology for people using hearing devices
  • The collaboration commences in June 2024 as Microsoft becomes the official Technology Partner for MED-EL’s global children’s invention contest IDEASforEARS

Leading hearing implant innovator MED-EL has announced a collaboration with Microsoft aimed at enhancing global communication technology for individuals living with hearing loss. Bringing together the unique expertise of both companies in the fields of hearing loss and technology, this collaboration is intended to span several years to help develop accessibility tools and communication technology, all designed for use by people who listen with the aid of hearing devices such as cochlear implants.

Speaking of the new collaboration, MED-EL’s CEO Dr Ingeborg Hochmair commented, “Microsoft is an avid supporter of our vision to remove hearing loss as a barrier communication and quality of life, which is why we’re very excited to be working together. By combining our resources, skills, and existing technologies, we can achieve new standards in accessibility for those living with hearing loss, the hundreds of thousands of individuals using our implants, and a network of people around them.”

“Our relationship with MED-EL shows how technology can contribute to an accessible world where everyone can fully engage and take part in life. At Microsoft, we are committed to this cause as diversity and inclusion is central to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We are proud to collaborate with MED-EL to overcome barriers for people with hearing loss worldwide”, stated Hermann Erlach, General Manager Microsoft Austria.

Collaboration begins by empowering children with hearing loss

To mark the start of this exciting new collaboration, Microsoft has become the official Technology Partner for MED-EL’s global children’s invention contest IDEASforEARS. The contest invites children aged 6 to 12 years to discover their inner innovator and create a new product that could improve the lives of people living with hearing loss. The 14 winners of this years’ contest will be heading to Innsbruck, Austria, where MED-EL is headquartered, to celebrate their successes. It is at this event in June 2024, where Microsoft technology will play a key role in facilitating communication among the young inventors, many of whom speak different languages and have hearing loss, using devices such as cochlear implants, middle ear implants, or bone conduction solutions to hear. With the support of Microsoft tablets and software, the children will be able to communicate through live translation technology in their own languages, access important event information, use gamification to interact throughout the event, and post updates from their family’s time in Innsbruck.

Further announcements about the collaboration will follow.


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 2,700 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 136 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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PR & Corporate Communications
MED-EL Medical Electronics
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T: +43 5 7788
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