The Trans Canal Cochlear Implant System ( TCIS )
There are an estimated 100 million deaf people in the world who cannot benefit from hearing aids and are thus in need of a cochlear implant. This remarkable technology in its current form is too expensive and too complex for the vast majority who are in need. The device costs $29,000 USD and the complex transmastoid surgical approach for its insertion requires general anesthesia and an experienced otologic surgeon, all of which are not feasible in the developing world. Because of these issues, only .2% of this global market has been penetrated.
We have been working on a much smaller and far less expensive cochlear implant system which can be inserted through a simpler trans canal surgical approach to the middle ear space and round window under local anesthesia. The internal device is powered by a deep ear mold sound processor which looks much like an in the ear (ITE ) hearing aid.
Dr. Goldsmith performed the first such cochlear implant ever done under local anesthesia on three patients in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2005 (see video above). We had a grounding gliche that affected the functionality of these early implant prototypes, and this has subsequently been addressed in revised configurations of the device. We continue to believe that the feasibility of a simpler, more affordable, and safe cochlear implant through this surgical approach remains very viable. Currently, we are seeking funding for the final phase of its development.