The future of cochlear implants.
Remarkable progress has been made in recent years in the design and application of processing strategies for cochlear implants. Most notably, use of the new spectral peak (SPEAK) and continuous interleaved sampling (CIS) strategies have provided large improvements in speech reception performance compared with prior strategies (NIH Consensus Statement, 1995; Skinner et al., 1994a; Wilson et al., 1991). All major manufacturers of multichannel implant systems, including Advanced Bionics Corp., Bionic Systems, Cochlear Pty. Ltd., and Med El, now offer CIS or CIS-like strategies in their speech processors. The SPEAK strategy was developed by Cochlear Pty. Ltd and continues to be one of the options available in that company's devices. The principal purpose of this editorial is to present some of the many possibilities for further improvements in performance. To the extent that such possibilities are realized, implant systems of the future may be quite different from present systems, with different processing strategies, electrode designs, telemetry features, and fitting procedures.
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