Sydney, 8 March 2019 (ASX:COH): Cochlear Limited today advises that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England has expanded the criteria that health professionals use when determining who is suitable for a cochlear implant within the National Health Service.
The threshold for eligibility has been reduced to equal or greater than 80 dB HL (decibels hearing loss) at two or more frequencies without the use of hearing aids, down from 90 dB HL for children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss.
This important change follows concerted campaigning from advocacy and community associations, healthcare professionals, Cochlear and key groups including the British Academy of Audiology (BAA), the British Society of Audiology (BSA) and the British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG).
Cochlear's CEO & President, Dig Howitt said, 'Cochlear welcomes the news as a positive change that will empower more people to benefit from cochlear implant technology, enabling them to live a full and connected life.
'The UK is a Top 5 market for Cochlear with over 900,000 people living with a severe to profound hearing loss.1 The changes are expected to more than double the number of people in the UK who can now access a cochlear implant.'
'We are pleased that there is a growing recognition of the need to set appropriate criteria for cochlear implants. Today's news follows recent changes in Japan and Taiwan (Greater China) where the expansion of clinical indications and/or reimbursement for cochlear implants has driven growing demand for implants following the changes.'
About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)
Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of more than 3,500 people and invests more than AUD$160 million a year in research and development. Products include hearing systems for cochlear implants, bone conduction implants and acoustic implants, which are designed to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss. Since 1981, Cochlear has provided more than 550,000 implantable devices, helping recipients of all ages, in more than 100 countries, to hear and be heard.
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