Microsystems are at the heart of portable hearing aids and implants. Now researchers are developing a miniature, low-power wireless microsystem to make these medical aids smaller, more comfortable and more efficient.
People with impaired hearing struggle with things we take for granted, whether it is listening to birds warbling in the garden or chatting with friends and acquaintances. They experience particular problems with hearing at higher frequencies and by following-up conversations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hearing loss is one of the six most common illnesses in the industrialized world. In Germany, around one in five of those over the age of 14 have to be treated for hearing difficulties. Often a simple hearing aid can restore the lost frequencies and makes it possible for the patient lead a normal life again.