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September 25, 2013

The Evolving Science of Cochlear Implants

Author Affiliations
  • 1 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  • 2Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
JAMA. 2013;310(12):1225-1226. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278142

In 1978, the first multichannel cochlear implant was developed in Australia and a prototype was surgically implanted in a 48-year-old patient (MC-1). After a series of clinical trials, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the Australian cochlear implant in adults in 1985, and subsequently, the agency has approved the device for use in infants as young as 6 months of age. During the past 3 decades, more than 300 000 patients have had their hearing restored with cochlear implants. In this Viewpoint, we describe how the assessment of the temporal bone of MC-1, the first patient to receive a cochlear implant, is aiding the further development of the device.