Autodesk Australia have announced Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions (BAS) as February Inventor of the Month, for their bone conduction hearing solution, which is now available in Australia.
Using Autodesk Inventor software, Cochlear BAS created a digital prototype of the Baha bone conduction hearing solution, a development that provides higher sound to improve the quality of life for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The Baha system uses direct bone conduction to transfer sound to the cochlea, the auditory centre of the inner ear. This method bypasses the outer and middle ears, which might be blocked, damaged or otherwise impaired, when transmitting sound vibrations to the inner ear. As a result, individuals with hearing loss experience clearer sound in everyday situations such as phone calls and group meetings.
According to Cochlear BAS, to design the bone conduction implant and the external sound processor that constitutes the Baha system, Cochlear BAS needed to precisely design, engineer and manufacture parts on the scale of one hundred-thousandths of a millimeter.
Cochlear BAS observe that Autodesk Inventor gave them detailed 3D views of products before anything was built. The Baha system is an alternative to traditional hearing aids that use air conduction to transmit sound through the ear canal. The Baha system uses a titanium implant in the skull bone behind the ear. An external sound processor snaps onto the implant, transmitting sound vibrations from the outside world directly to the cochlea, bypassing damaged or problematic areas.
The Baha system does not over-amplify sounds to compensate for the damaged or blocked area but re-routes the sound naturally, thereby eliminating the feedback and occlusion.