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Hearing instrument specially designed for small ears

At the 54th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians 2009 (EUHA) in Nuremberg, Siemens presented a new model specially designed for hearing-impaired toddlers and preschoolers and also for teenagers in the well-known Siemens Explorer range. The new model, the Siemens Explorer 500 M, is particularly small, making it a perfect size to fit behind the ears of young people with hearing impairment. It is robust enough to withstand the everyday activities of infants and schoolchildren, its appearance can be adjusted to the changing childlike tastes, and thanks to Bluetooth it meets the technology requirements of teenagers. Due to its high volume it is also suitable for the fitting of average and severe hearing impairment.

Hearing is essential for children so they can learn to talk and pronounce words correctly. Hearing and understanding is also very important for the child’s continuing development. At the same time, one of the audiologist’s most difficult tasks is to adjust hearing instruments for hearing-impaired children. Very young children with their limited capacity to express themselves are of little help with adjusting the hearing instrument. Their sensitivity to sound is also different from that of, for example, a teenager. Because the ear grows, the earpiece, the part that sits in the external ear, must be easy for the acoustician to replace. Hearing instruments for children must generally be extremely robust. Both appearance and technology also play an important role with increasing age.

The new Siemens Explorer 500 M is a new addition to the existing Siemens range. The small size makes it particularly suitable for children, but it still has a high volume (up to 60 dB). The slender housing even fits behind the ears of small children and it virtually disappears behind the ears of schoolchildren and teenagers. All controls are placed for easy access by parents and older children. An optional remote control makes adjustments easier for teenagers and parents.

Particular attention has been paid to safety, which is highly important for very young children. The ear hook has a special child lock. Due to a special mechanism the battery compartment is easy for an adult to open but inaccessible for a child. The actual housing is strong enough to resist chewing by a baby and it can also be dropped without damage. A nanocoating resists moisture, dirt and grease.

The Siemens Explorer 500 M is an investment for the future, because the housing, available in 16 colors, has a wide range of features to meet the requirements of different children’s age groups. It can be connected to a wireless system for use in school. The FM system sends the teacher’s voice directly to the hearing instrument through a microphone worn by the teacher. The automatic situation detection, the voice-oriented sound management, the directional microphone system, the feedback blocker and numerous additional features allow age-related adjustments. The Siemens Explorer 500 M can easily be switched to an open fit solution. It can also be upgraded with the Siemens-developed Tek Connect technology, which connects hearing systems wirelessly by Bluetooth to cell phones, computers, MP3 players, stereo systems, televisions or other devices.

Acousticians fitting Siemens Explorer hearing systems are supported by ClinicalFit, a special work process for adjusting hearing instruments for children in the Siemens-developed Connexx fitting software. The program is now being expanded with additional age-dependent functions based on the latest international studies in pediatric audiology.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens is the only company to offer customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 49,000 employees worldwide and operates in over 130 countries. In fiscal year 2008 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 11.2 billion euros and profit of 1.2 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.

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