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Home / Chandigarh / Trials for indigenous cochlear implants developed by DRDO begin at PGIMER, Chandigarh

Trials for indigenous cochlear implants developed by DRDO begin at PGIMER, Chandigarh

A three-day conference will be held from February 14, which will give a platform to further strengthen the links to other professionals and to facilitate multicentre research

chandigarh Updated: Feb 12, 2020 00:36 IST
Amanjeet Singh Salyal
Amanjeet Singh Salyal
Amanjeet Singh Salyal, Chandigarh
Cochlear implants are electronic hearing devices, implanted onto people with severe to profound hearing loss, in order to produce useful hearing sensations.
Cochlear implants are electronic hearing devices, implanted onto people with severe to profound hearing loss, in order to produce useful hearing sensations.(Getty Images)

The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research is among five other national institutes to begin trials for indigenous cochlear implants developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Cochlear implants are electronic hearing devices, implanted onto people with severe to profound hearing loss, in order to produce useful hearing sensations.

The aim of the project is to decrease the cost of the device, which at present is somewhere between ₹5-7 lakh, and is supplied by three companies approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

“The former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam envisioned to make cheap cochlear implants available and told DRDO in 2005 to develop the technology. PGIMER was also a part of that plan,” said Naresh K Panda, head of otolaryngology (ENT) department,PGIMER.

THREE YEARS OF RESEARCH

Dr Panda said that a good amount of time had been invested on the process of planning, assessment and development of the prototype.

“In the last three years, many rounds of meetings have been held with the people involved. Many suggestions have been included and after the prototype was tested, it has been made ready for trials on patients,” Dr Panda said.

In the initial phase, five hospitals namely Apollo Hospital in Bangalore, Armed Forces Medical College, CMC Vellore, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and PGIMER have been provided with the prototype and at least 10 trial implants will be conducted by each institute.

Four trials have been conducted in other hospitals while PGIMER is waiting for suitable patients for making their first implant.

“We will monitor each case and then come up with a study on it,” Dr Panda said.

Regarding the drop in prices, Dr Panda said that it should cost around ₹1 lakh, however, the price has not been decided yet, but it will be cheaper.

CONFERENCE ON SPEECH AND HEARING

While holding a press meet here on Tuesday, doctors of the speech and hearing unit, department of otolaryngology, along with Chandigarh chapter of Indian Speech and Hearing Association, said they are organising a conference ‘Beyond 2020’, which will focus on recent and forthcoming advances in the field of speech and hearing.

“We will be organising three parallel pre-conference workshops in audiology, speech pathology and language, with a scientific focus on vestibular assessment and management, paediatric dysphagia and neuroimaging in communication disorders,” the doctors said.

A three-day conference will be held from February 14, which will give a platform to further strengthen the links to other professionals and to facilitate multicentre research.