Bone Conduction Aid
Innovations provides the following description of their HiSonic bone
conduction hearing aid:
HiSonic(r) is a supersonic bone conduction hearing instrument. It shifts
auditory sounds into the supersonic range (above 20,000 hertz) and
converts them into vibrations which are transmitted to the brain by our
vibrating bones (a process called bone conduction). HiSonic(r)
represents the very latest technology used for hearing impairment and is
the only device of its kind."
HiSonic(r) is targeted towards people who have profound bilateral
sensorineural hearing impairment and do not benefit from traditional
hearing aids. Hearing Innovations contends that Cochlear Implant
candidates may want to consider this product instead.
Innovations explains that the "basic components of the HiSonic(r)
are a microphone, signal processing unit and transducer. The microphone
is very small and clips on a lapel or shirt pocket. The signal
processing unit, which is about the size of a portable cassette player
and is worn on a belt, shifts the frequency of the signal up from the
normal audible range to the supersonic range. The signal is then
converted into vibrations and is transferred through a small transducer
held in place behind the ear by a headband."
HiSonic(r) costs $7000 and does not require surgery. It is currently
available only in Tucson, Arizona, but additional dispensing offices are
planned in major cities.