Advanced Bionics

Contributed by , president of Healthy Hearing
Advanced Bionics

Advanced Bionics is a leader in the hearing technology industry, specifically in sophisticated cochlear implant technology.

This content was last reviewed on: July 7th, 2014

Advanced Bionics is a leader in the hearing technology industry, specifically in sophisticated cochlear implant technology. The company maintains a focus on continually pushing the envelope and using the latest advancements to improve lives around the world. They're currently partnered with Phonak under the Sonova Group and thus have access to the best research and engineers.

History of Advanced Bionics

Advanced Bionics was founded by Alfred E. Mann in 1993, an established entrepreneur and philanthropist who has founded and funded 17 successful companies during his career so far - many of which are dedicated to advancements in biomedical engineering. Mann, who has a Masters degree in physics, was interested in finding ways to help people hear better. He established Advanced Bionics in 1993, funding seven scientists and engineers and appointing Jeffrey H. Greiner to lead the company in finding implantable solutions to greatly improve the quality of life for those individuals with hearing deficiencies around the world by helping people hear better.

Advanced Bionics offers cochlear implantsIn 1996, the team's work at Advanced Bionics paid off. The company was given approval from the FDA to market the Clarion™ cochlear implant for use by adults. The Clarion processor was the industry's first multi-program processor for cochlear implants. The original design had independent volume and sensitivity controls, a unique design and did not require a piece on the ear - all features new to the industry. In 1997, the Clarion sound processor was ruled safe for children, and Advanced Bionics released its new S-Series™ sound processor.

By the turn of the century, the company was starting to make big waves in the industry. In 2001, they released an implant and electrode, which held software which was capable of being updated using software programming, rather than even more surgery. Later that year, as cochlear implants became more common, Advanced Bionics recognized the need to establish a support network for people to connect with others who were using cochlear implants. They founded the Bionic Ear Association. Today, this network has grown to be one of the largest online communities of cochlear implant users and people can find an individual mentor to support them through the process of getting and adapting to an implant.

The following few years were studded with several innovations and new devices, including the launch of a new high resolution technology in Europe, the T-Mic™ microphone that provided wireless connectivity to MP3 players, cell phones and headsets and new earhook options depending on what type of listening the user needed to do. A new implant was also introduced that, by surgical design, allowed upgrades to be made without followup surgeries. Previous cochlear implant recipients were upgraded to this new implant technology to improve their hearing in real-world environments.

Following Advanced Bionics' massive success in bringing new implantable technologies to the deaf and those with severe hearing loss, Boston Scientific bought the company in 2004 and continued to develop advanced processing systems and devices before selling the company back to original stakeholders in 2007. Later that year, the company launched two free online resources to help people with hearing loss maximize their residual hearing and to educate and support cochlear implant recipients in various ways.

With operations in more than 50 countries and a track record for developing high-performing, state-of-the-art products, AB's talented group of technologists and professionals are driven to succeed, work with integrity, and stay firmly committed to quality while delivering unmatched customer service.

What sets them apart?

In 2009, Advanced Bionics was acquired by Sonova Holding Ag, which had previously been Phonak Holding AG. Thee Sonova Group, which was founded in 1947, has a long and established presence in the hearing technology industry, specifically focusing on hearing aids with its brands Unitron and more recently Phonak. The group is one of the largest hearing technology companies and one of the only to have both hearing aids and cochlear implants under one roof, covering the spectrum of hearing technologies. Today, with Sonova, Advanced Bionics has operations in more than 50 countries around the world.

Through its more recent partnership with Phonak, Advanced Bionics has been able to draw on this brand's expertise, professionals and research to revolutionize hearing with advancements like smaller sound processors for a discreet look, more powerful processing in difficult sound settings, better water protection for active lifestyles and excellent customer support. The latest device to come out of this partnership is a stylish, lightweight, high-performance cochlear implant that is 100 percent wireless, suitable for adults and children and comes in various colors. This advanced device relies on the most powerful technology and is paving the way for further revolutionary advancements in cochlear implants.

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