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No touch CI pathways: will Covid-19 drive innovation?

August 5, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 9:30 am BST

The need to maintain social distancing during the pandemic has required clinical services to restrict ‘face to face’ contact episodes and thus remote care may become a necessity. We begin with the patient experience and then draw on the field of remote hearing-aid fitting prior to considering clinical experience with cochlear implants. Could intraoperative cochlear neurophysiology inform this approach? We will then consider how the domain of artificial intelligence could be transformative in enabling the wider adoption of remote care.

Watch the presentations from this webinar here.

Chair: Professor Helen Cullington PhD (Southampton)

Helen Cullington

I am a Professorial Fellow and Principal Clinical Scientist at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service in the United Kingdom; we implant adults and children of all ages.  I am captivated by cochlear implants and the use of technology to improve people’s lives.  I have worked for 26 years in six cochlear implant centres around the world, and completed my PhD at University of California, Irvine. I am committed to developing tools to empower people with cochlear implants to manage their own care at home, and currently have a £0.5 million grant from The Health Foundation to scale up my successful telemedicine tools across the UK.  I am Chair of the British Cochlear Implant Group.  I am committed to using technology and social media to improve health care and communication.


Trisha DiGiovanni

Patrizia (Trisha) DiGiovanni (AU)

Patrizia (Trisha) DiGiovanni became an implant recipient on 22 February 2019, in Sydney after a lifetime of deafness in her right ear. Working for an international organisation, she was on holidays visiting family and friends and exploring options after having heard that maybe she might be a candidate for the procedure. Within a 2-week period, the procedure was done, due to findings in an MRI that indicated some risk to her “good hearing ear” and 7 days after the procedure was back in Kenya where she worked and lived.  In October 2019, she moved (again for employment) to North Macedonia. Remote sessions predate the pandemic for Trisha, having had a 12 month start on this methodology before the pandemic hit the globe.

De Wet Swanepoel

De Wet Swanepoel (ZA)

De Wet Swanepoel is professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria and senior researcher at the Ear Science Institute Australia. Prof Swanepoel’s research capitalises on the growth in information and communication technologies to explore, develop and evaluate innovative technologies and service delivery models to improve ear and hearing care. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters and is funded by the NIH, UK Academy of Medical Sciences, National Research Foundation, industry and has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of his work. Prof Swanepoel serves as Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Audiology, past-president of the International Society of Audiology and co-founder of a digital health tech company called the hearX group.

Frederic Venail

Frederic Venail (FR)

Frederic Venail is Professor and Head of the Otology and Neurotology in the ENT department of Montpellier University Hospital and in the Institute for Neurosciences of Montpellier. He trains M.D. and Ph.D. students in Otolaryngology and Audiology, and develops research in the fields of improvement of neuroprosthetic interface with cochlear implant, teleaudiology and sensory hair cell regeneration.

Stephen O'Leary

Stephen O’Leary (AU)

Professor Stephen O’Leary holds the Chair of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne, is a Cochlear Implant Surgeon at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences. He has considerable clinical and research expertise in cochlear implantation, with a particular interest in hearing preservation, and cochlear-implant derived measures that impact upon patient performance and cochlear health.

Michelle Kraskin

Michelle Kraskin (US)

Dr. Michelle Kraskin is Assistant Director of Audiology at Weill Cornell Medicine Dr. Kraskin has been affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine since 2003. She is responsible for the coordination of the day-to-day activities for audiology and speech and for infant screening services as part of the Hearing and Speech Department. Her clinical expertise is in the area of pediatric assessment of hearing including audiometry, auditory brainstem response (ABR), otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing, hearing aids and cochlear implantation

Colleen Psarros

Colleen Psarros (AU)

Over the past 30 years, Colleen has experienced many new frontiers and opportunities in the cochlear implant space. My role has required partnering with industry and developing teams to respond to local and national service delivery. Her focus has been to empower recipients, potential recipients, their families and clinicians in the hearing implant journey. Colleen’s doctoral research which began 5 years ago, has identified the parameters that are essential for models of cochlear implant service delivery and the integration of tele practice, which in a post Covid 19 environment will continue to have great significance.

R Ranjith

R Ranjith (IN)

Mr.Ranjith Rajeswaran, Professor and Director MERF-Institute of Speech and Hearing (P) Ltd., Chennai.  Chief Audiologist Madras ENT Research Foundation (P) Ltd., Chennai.

Master in Audiology & Speech Language Pathology. Graduated from Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute (D).  He is one of the founder members of Cochlear Implant Group of India and HEARRING (Comprehensive Hearing Implant Centres for research and development in the field of Hearing Implants.

Paul Govaerts

Paul Govaerts (BE)

Prof Dr Paul Govaerts, MD, PhD, MSc.  Dr Govaerts is director of the Eargroup in Antwerp, Belgium.  He has coined the concept of target-driven, computer-assisted fitting more than 20 years ago.  For that purpose he and his team have developed several audiological tests (A§E tests, now integrated in Audiqueen) to ascertain the cochlear functioning and Coala-Link to administer them directly to Cochlear’s Nucleus sound allowing boothless testing and self testing. They also developed FOX, the first A.I. driven assistant to improve the maps of CI recipients based on the measured results and preset targets.

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August 5, 2020
8:00 am - 9:30 am BST
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Global CI Collaborative