The Osia System: A Game Changer

Jun 15, 2021 | Donor Spotlight – Your Stories, House Institute Foundation

By Javia Headley, Marketing Communications Manager

Jason Jacobs was the first patient at the House Institute to receive the new Cochlear™ Osia® System, an active osseointegrated steady state implant system using digital piezoelectric stimulation. The Osia Implant is designed to be placed under the skin with minimally invasive surgery. It works by bypassing damaged areas of the outer and middle ear, sending sounds directly to the cochlea. It is the first and only implant system of its kind.

“The Cochlear Osia System is a game-changer,” says Kimberli Davenport, AuD, a Clinical Territory Manager for Cochlear Americas. “Not only in terms of cosmetics but also in terms of hearing performance.” The Osia can address a wide range of hearing loss levels and provide patients with better speech understanding and general sound quality, even in challenging listening environments.

Jason first started losing his hearing at 30 years old. He turned to bilateral hearing aids, which then caused several rounds of infections and antibiotics. “In the past, I had maybe five surgeries to correct my hearing loss. All the bones had deteriorated on both sides, so prosthetic bones were placed, and the eardrums were reconstructed. Now, here I am with this amazing product and loving it. With hearing aids, the sound is so artificial. I’m grateful for the sound I got out of them, but when I compare it to something like this, it blows them away; it’s so natural.”

When asked what part of the technology excited him the most, Jason mentions that the Osia System is a hearing device and a pair of headphones all in one. The Osia allows Jason to stream music, phone calls, and videos directly from his phone to the implant system.

“You can’t hear this?” Jason asks his audiologists with glee as he calls his wife for the first time to hear what phone calls sound like streamed through this new system. “It sounds like I’m on speaker, and everyone else can hear what’s going on.”

Dr. Davenport, who has been working in the industry for 17 years, is astounded at how far hearing technology has taken us. “I never dreamed that people with significant hearing loss would be talking on cellphones and that Cochlear would be able to provide this level of productivity to its recipients.”

The future of hearing technology is exciting. From Dr. William House’s first cochlear implant at the House Institute in 1961 to the Osia System now and beyond, research will continue to improve hearing technology for patients worldwide.

“Having these devices,” says Jason, “Is really a blessing.”