Apple VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, has appeared on ABC7 News, via 9to5 Mac, talking about 9-year-old Joshua Gomez who is able to hear again as a result of a new type of bone-conduction hearing-aid that works in tandem with a companion iOS app. “Technology can transform lives [and] 9-year-old Joshua is a great example,” said Jackson.
Joshua began to lose his hearing when he was 3 years old, and went through several surgeries to try and restore his hearing over a 5-year timeframe, but all to no avail. And unfortunately, even conventional hearing-aids were unable to help in his particular case.
It was the Children’s Hearing Center at Stanford that finally came up with a way to restore Joshua’s hearing. They outfitted him with the Cochlear Baha 5, new technology that enabled him to hear out of both ears clearly for the first time. The device is made specifically for iPhone.
The main difference between a regular hearing-aid and the Cochlear Baha 5 is that it is able to transmit sound directly to the inner ear via bone conduction, thus avoiding those parts of the ear that would not be able to tolerate such a device.
The iPhone app can then be used to tune the sound to various environments, such as making it easier to pick out speech in a noisy room, and boosting a child’s softer voice to make it easier to hear. Sound can also be transmitted directly to the device from an iPhone or iPad.
Apple has won many awards for its efforts at making devices that are as accessible as possible, and has just this year created an accessibility accessory section in the Apple Store and new accessibility features in iOS 10.
Source: 9-year-old boy gets his hearing back after six years thanks to bone-conduction implant & iPhone app