Oticon Medical recently held its first Scientific Meeting, a professional gathering that brought together prominent clinicians, researchers and opinion leaders in Otology/Neurotology and Audiology from around the world. The three-day conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, focused on the latest technology, surgical advances and leading-edge research in bone anchored hearing systems.
"Significant advances in bone anchored hearing systems are creating new possibilities for increased benefit and more choice for both patients and surgeons,” said Oticon Medical General Manager Jes Olsen. “The conference speakers clearly illustrated the tremendous progress that has been made thus far and show how outstanding research and new developments in treatment and surgical techniques are helping us to realize the full potential of bone anchored solutions for people with conductive and mixed hearing losses or single-sided deafness.”
The first Scientific Meeting featured a range of relevant and challenging topics that incorporate a patient-centered approach to quality of life benefits and extend the potential for treatment and successful outcomes to more patients than ever before.
Cor Cremers, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus in Otology at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, the Netherlands, discussed promising long term clinical outcomes for a simplified soft tissue surgical procedure using a linear incision. Professor Malou Hultcrantz, MD, PhD of Karolinska Hospital’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Sweden, elaborated on a new method for percutaneous bone anchored hearing systems that has been successful in minimizing skin complications. The new method does not involve skin thinning and clinically has shown no adverse skin reactions, no numbness, shorter surgery time, quicker healing and good cosmetics.
Another innovative method to bone anchored hearing device surgery without soft tissue reduction was presented by Shyam Sigman, FRCSI, associate specialist ENT surgeon, Torbay Hospital , Devon, UK. Dr. Singam shared early results of a clinical trial conducted with patients with comorbidities that could potentially interfere with surgery and wound healing.
An innovative “punch” method for bone anchored hearing placement was described by Wayne T. Shaia, MD of Balance and Ear Centre, Richmond, Virginia, USA. Dr. Shaia discussed a safe, streamlined approach for the placement of bone anchored hearing systems, an alteration to the standard split thickness skin graft technique, to help limit complication rates and at the same time, shorten operative time and improve cosmetic result.
The increase in patient choice - from increased indication for bone conduction devices and readily available new implant systems with and without abutments to improved sound processor technology – creates many positive benefits for patients and surgeon. Ann-Louise McDermott, FRCS, PhD, paediatric otolaryngologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, UK, invited participants to also consider the practical challenges this greater choice creates for bone anchored hearing device programs.
Patrick Westerkull, M. Sc., senior scientific advisor to Oticon Medical, gave participants an overview of new Ponto implant systems and application of the new products combined with new surgical developments. Important versus less critical design aspects of surgical implants, new surgical protocols and new user-related improvements were discussed.
Two studies with Ponto System products were also presented. The first was by Soren Foghsgaard, MD, an ENT specialist at Rigshospitalet/Gentofte Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and board member of the Danish Society of Otosurgery. He outlined the first results of an ongoing prospective study of the Ponto wide implant that showed expected ISQ values overtime. In addition, no adverse skin reactions were observed and there was no implant extrusion or need for skin revision surgery.
The second study was presented by Arjan Bosman, PhD, Audiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, the Netherlands. He expounded on the results of a recent study of Oticon Medical’s Ponto Pro Power conducted with patients formerly wearing the Cochlear Intenso. The study used both objective measures (aided thresholds, speech perception) and subjective measures (APHAB, SSQ questionnaires) and showed significantly improved subjective and objective performance for Oticon Medical’s Ponto Pro Power.
Ravi Sockalingam, PhD, director of clinical research and professional relations for Oticon Medical, offered an overview of Oticon Medical’s clinical research program, emphasizing the need for high quality studies and more evidence, particularly in the area of single-sided deafness.
“The last few years have seen many new advances in bone anchored hearing systems,” said Sockalingam. “With these advances comes a dire need for research into their effectiveness in improving patient outcomes be they surgical or audiological. For Oticon Medical, clinical research is the cornerstone of our innovation and development “