The iMini, Siemens Smallest Hearing Instrument, Disappears Invisibly in the Ear
Piscataway, N.J. March, 27, 2011 –
Siemens has developed a new hearing instrument that is even smaller than current models. As a result, it can be inserted far into the auditory canal, remaining basically invisible. The instruments are made individually for each customer at selected iMini manufacturing facilities in Germany for the European market, and in the United States for customers there. This very labor-intensive manufacturing process is necessary because of the extreme miniaturization of the iMini - no two iMinis are alike. And the iMini features BestSound Technology developed by Siemens for greater hearing comfort even in difficult noise environments.
From the outset, most people with hearing impairment have requested hearing instruments that are as small as possible, preferably completely invisible. This is why Siemens has been offering in-the-ear hearing instruments for the past 45 years. But never has there been a hearing instrument so capable yet so small as the new iMini. It is the first Siemens hearing system that disappears so far into the auditory canal that it is practically invisible from the outside.
Very labor-intensive manufacturing processes are needed for the complex technology found in modern hearing systems to be mounted in such a small housing. The iMini is individually manufactured for each customer based on the size of each person's auditory canal as measured by the hearing care professional. They are manufactured by specially trained professionals, most of whom have many years experience manufacturing in-the-ear hearing instruments. They also use computer-assisted technology help determine how the individual components can be optimally arranged in the individual housing shell; these layouts are different for each instrument. Only after this has been done is the shell manufactured and an experienced design engineer puts together the hearing instrument and checks its performance.
The iMini is as uncomplicated to use as it is complicated to produce. The instrument is inserted deep into the auditory canal where it fits perfectly thanks to the custom manufacturing process. Because it is programmed by a hearing care professional for the preferences and settings of the wearer, there is no need for any adjustments later on. And because it is located precisely where sound travels when no hearing instrument is being used, it provides a very natural, acoustic amplification.
A fine, invisible nylon thread is used to easily pull the hearing system out of the auditory canal at night to remove the system. The iMini batteries can last up to one week, depending on the intensity of use and can be replaced easily by wearers.
Siemens has designed the iMini with the different needs of the markets in Europe and the United States in mind. Thus, the iMini produced in Germany for the European market will be available only in white with a dark-brown cap. In the United States, where more customers request colorful hearing systems, the iMini will be offered in eleven colors.
To provide the best hearing comfort, the iMini hearing systems are equipped with the BestSound technology developed by Siemens. This technology produces a very pleasant sound and much better speech comprehension.
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2010 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.4 billion euros and profit of around 750 million euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare