A multi-channel cochlear implant hearing prosthesis providing 22 separate channels of stimulation has been developed. The electronics for the implantable receiver-stimulator have been incorporated on a single chip, using digital circuits and employing CMOS technology. The chip is enclosed in a titanium capsule with platinum/ceramic electrode feed-throughs. A pocket-sized speech processor and directional microphone extract the following speech parameters: signal amplitude, fundamental frequency and formant frequency. The fundamental frequency is coded as electric pulse rate, and formant frequency by electrode position. The speech processor has been realized using hybrid circuits and CMOS gate arrays. The multi-channel prosthesis has undergone a clinical trial on four postlingually deaf patients with profound-total hearing losses. The speech perception results indicate that they were able to obtain open-set speech recognition scores for phonetically balanced words, CID sentences and spondees. In all cases the tests showed significant improvements when using the cochlear prosthesis combined with lipreading compared to lipreading alone.
- Multi-channel hearing prosthesis