Cochlear implantation: current and future device options.


Today most cochlear implant users achieve above 80% on standard speech recognition in quiet testing, and enjoy excellent device reliability. Despite such success, conventional designs often fail to provide the frequency resolution required for complex listening tasks. Furthermore, performance variability remains a vexing problem, with a select group of patients performing poorly despite using the most recent technologies and processing strategies. This article provides a brief history of the development of cochlear implant technologies, reviews current implant systems from all 3 major manufacturers, examines recently devised strategies aimed at improving device performance, and discusses potential future developments.