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Solutions to electromagnetic interference problems between cochlear implants and GSM phones

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4 Author(s)
Sorri, M.J. ; Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology, Univ. of Oulu, Oulun Yliopisto, Finland ; Piiparinen, P.J. ; Huttunen, K.H. ; Haho, M.J.

For persons using cochlear implants, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) problems may sometimes be an obstacle to using digital cellular telephones. This study aimed at exploring the benefit of three new assistive listening device prototypes that eliminate or diminish EMC problems. Ten experienced cochlear implant users listened in quiet to running speech samples and a sentence test on a landline phone, a digital cellular phone with and without three prototypes. The subjects' performance was assessed using a sentence test, a subjective visual analog scale, and by ranking the best and the poorest listening condition. Compared to the other test conditions, listening to a digital cellular phone alone revealed, on average, the poorest sentence recognition scores (29%) and the poorest results in four different subjective judgments (the amount of disturbances, the clarity of the message, the quality of the sound, overall judgment) with all three implant systems tested. The prototypes generally helped the implantees to recognize speech better on the cellular telephone (by 10-21 percent units, on average). Use of assistive listening devices and further development of EMC of both cochlear implant systems and digital cellular phones needs to take place to enable smooth use of digital cellular phones for all implantees.

Published in:

Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )