Dr.-Ing. Josef Chalupper, Hannover
“New fitting and signal processing strategies to optimise bimodal benefit”
Bimodal stimulation (cochlear implant and contralateral hearing aid) can improve important aspects of auditory perception for CI recipients with sufficient residual hearing: audibility of low frequencies, localisation, speech intelligibility – in particular in spatial competing talker situations – and sound quality of music. The bimodal benefit, however, varies considerably across individuals. Improved integration of signal processing as well as fitting procedures across both modalities should help to increase bimodal benefit for many patients.
With regard to bimodal fitting, the effects of aligning the frequency response as well as static and dynamic compression characteristics were investigated. Moreover, wireless audio-streaming between CI and hearing aid allows implementing new signal processing strategies to further improve speech intelligibility in spatial noise conditions. Results of clinical studies show that both dedicated bimodal fitting and signal processing strategies provide significant and clinically relevant benefit, in particular in realistic cocktail party situations.