Advancements in biomedical technology have changed the lives of millions of people around the globe and cochlear implants have to be one of the most extraordinary.

Cochlear implants were the first technology capable of restoring a human sense. Unlike hearing aids, they don’t amplify sound. Instead, they use an electrode array implanted inside the ear, in the cochlea, to stimulate the auditory nerve. This marriage of human physiology and advanced technology have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Cochlear implants were first approved for use in adults in the mid-1980’s, and in 2000 the procedure was approved for children starting at 12 months old. 1 Since its approval, a generation of deaf and hearing impaired adults and children have grown up with the device.

One of those individuals is Helen Willis. This first short documentary by SJC tv from Oxford University shares what living with a cochlear implant is like for Helen, as well as how this remarkable device even works.

Via: SJC tv 2

Now, advancements in technology have bettered the quality of sound for those with implants. So, it is becoming an increasingly wide-used option for deaf or hearing impaired children.

Life with a Cochlear Implant

Helen’s story is one of so many. The recent New York Times Op-Doc, Between Sound and Silence explores how those with cochlear implants interact with the world as both a part of the hearing and deaf communities in their own way. Take a look…

Cochlear implants are not always the favored option for deaf or hearing impaired individuals or parents, but there is no denying that they are an extraordinary technology.

Biomedical technologies are advancing in fascinating ways. From devices that help the blind see with their tongues, to robotics entering the world of prosthetics, the possibilities are seeming more and more endless.

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Here's a moment where technology becomes a bit more...human

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  1. “Cochlear Implants.” National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 15 June 2018, Accessed 11 Sept. 2018.
  2. “Hearing… but Not as You Know It.” YouTube, SJC Tv, 7 Oct. 2012, Accessed 11 Sept. 2018.
  3. “Between Sound & Silence: How Technology Is Changing Deafness | Op-Docs.” YouTube, The New York Times, 10 Aug. 2018, Accessed 11 Sept. 2018.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV