12 Facts about Oticon Medical & Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS)

How long have bone anchored hearing systems been around? How are Oticon and Oticon Medical different? Where is the person I’m speaking to when I call customer support? These are all questions we’ve heard. So, we created a list of facts about both bone anchored hearing systems and Oticon Medical.

Did you know?

1. Oticon Medical was started in 2007. We are a sister company to Oticon, which has been a leader in the hearing aid field since 1904.

2. Oticon Medical’s global corporate headquarters is in Denmark, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Bone anchored research and development is based in Gotenburg, Sweden and the Cochlear Implant branch is anchored in southern France, just outside of Nice. The U.S. subsidiary, Oticon Medical, LLC started in 2009 and is headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey.

3. Oticon and Oticon Medical are sister companies, not the same company. Both companies are in William Demant Holding, but Oticon focuses on hearing aids while Oticon Medical focuses on hearing implants.

4. Osseointegration was discovered in Sweden in the 1960’s. It was first used in combination with a percutaneous abutment to transmit sound in 1977¹.

 ¹Tjellstrom A, Granstrom G. One-stage procedure to establish osseointegration: a zero to five years follow-up report. J Laryngol Otol. 1995;109(7):593–598. [PubMed]

5. The satisfaction rating for BAHS users is very high– 90 percent of BAHS patients use their device for more than eight hours a day, and 93 percent of them use it every day of the week. ²

²Dutt SN, McDermott AL, Jelbert A, Reid AP, Proops DW. Day to day use and service-related issues with the bone-anchored hearing aid: the Entific Medical Systems questionnaire. J Laryngol Otol Suppl.2002:20–28. [PubMed]

6. Definition of Osseointegration: The firm anchoring of a surgical implant (as in dentistry or in bone surgery) by the growth of bone around it without fibrous tissue formation at the interface.³

7. Although bone-conduction hearing aids were first described in the 18th century, the usage of BAHS as skin-penetrating implants was started in 1977. BAHS became commercially available in 1987.³

³Tjellstrom A, Granstrom G. Long-term follow-up with the bone-anchored hearing aid: a review of the first 100 patients between 1977 and 1985. Ear Nose Throat J. 1994;73(2):112–114. [PubMed]

8. The procedure was cleared for use in adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the summer of 1997.

Lustig LR, Arts HA, Brackmann DE, Francis HF, Molony T, Megerian CA, et al. Hearing rehabilitation using the BAHA bone-anchored hearing aid: results in 40 patients. Otol Neurotol. 2001;22(3):328–334. [PubMed]

9. BAHS are designed to use your body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction. The sound processor picks up sound, converts them into vibrations, and sends them through your skull bone, directly to your inner ear. This bypasses any problems in the ear canal or middle ear.

10. The Ponto System is a percutaneous system that introduces the sound directly into the mastoid bone, unlike a transcutaneous system where sound is dampened due to the effects of skin and subcutaneous tissues. Percutaneous implants may be expected to be better in sound transmission since the titanium screw delivers sound directly to the skull without soft tissue interference. The headband or test rod, still offers an easy, fast, and objective way of assessing bone conduction capacity, which allows the patient to experience bone conducted sound to assist in decision making.

11. The BAHS are increasingly used for single sided deafness (SSD) because it effectively eliminates the head shadow effect by delivering sound transcranially to the good ear.

Berger KW. Early bone conduction hearing aid devices. Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(5):315–318.[PubMed]

12. Surgical techniques of fixture implantation and osseointegration are associated with minimal complication rates. You can also find more information on surgical techniques here:
The Future of Bone Anchored Hearing
Minimally Invasive Procedure Increases Tissue Preservation for Better Patient Outcomes

You can find more information on the history of bone anchored hearing systems here.

Do you have a question that you’d like us to address on this list? Just let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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One thought on “12 Facts about Oticon Medical & Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS)

  1. Pingback: You Asked; We Answer: What’s the difference between a Cochlear Implant and a Bone Anchored Hearing System? | Oticon Medical

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