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DRDO develops low cost hearing device

The DRDO has developed an affordable cochlear implant which can help millions of deaf people to hear again.

delhi Updated: Feb 05, 2012 20:32 IST

The DRDO has developed an affordable cochlear implant which can help millions of deaf people to hear again.

The cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.

In India, there are nearly one million people who need cochlear implants. Every year 9-10 thousand deaf children are born.

"The Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), DRDO, has developed an affordable Cochlear Implant," the defence ministry said in release on Saturday.

The imported cochlear implant is very expensive, priced at Rs 7–10 lakh. The indigenously developed cochlear implant will cost a just around Rs One Lakh, it said.

Noting that the NSTL-developed cochlear implant is undergoing final laboratory evaluation, chief controller V Bhujanga Rao said, "it would be available for clinical trials within 4 months."

"After trials at five centres in the country, the indigenous cochlear implant will go into production," he added.

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam said cochlear implant is a highly complex system requiring extensive research and owing to this the Implant could only be developed by 3-4 countries in the world namely the US, Austria, Australia and France.