We are an international network of cochlear implant surgeons, audiologists, speech pathologists and hearing researchers that are interested in the barriers facing widespread access to cochlear implants and other hearing devices in emerging countries. Our goal is to provide a platform for multidisciplinary discussions of solutions towards improving disparities in the delivery of prosthetic hearing devices.
Hearing Loss is a major global health issue that affects 360 million people worldwide according to the WHO. The morbidity associated with hearing loss has been mitigated by the advent of the cochlear implant and other prosthetic hearing devices. Unfortunately, the price of CIs along with the infrastructure needed for proper rehabilitation limit the effective
delivery of this device to low and middle-income resource countries. Device cost can be prohibitively high in these settings and is the main impediment to widespread access to CIs.
Despite the complexity and cost associated with delivering this intervention in low resource settings, cost-effectiveness studies demonstrate that the benefit still outweighs the cost. The utility of this intervention has led to many institutions and governmental programs seeking to establish sustainable models for successful affordable CI delivery programs. We
believe that a platform for the exchange of innovative solutions is essential to improve access to CIs worldwide.