The importance of being flexible

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Figure 1: The first implantation of a multichannel microelectronic cochlear implant.
Figure 2: An important early patient.
Figure 3: The COMFORT System.
Figure 4: A unique case.
Figure 5: Multicenter study results with the implant COMBI 40.
Figure 6: More recent pioneer patients.


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I would like to thank my closest research partner, my husband Erwin Hochmair, for the many years of joint research and other adventures. I also thank F. Paschke, former head of the General EE Department at the TU Vienna, for his support and encouragement, and the late K. Burian, former head of the ENT University Clinic Vienna, and his successors. I wish to acknowledge the early pioneer patients, in particular C.K., S.O., H.D. and M.H., who spent countless hours performing psychophysical and speech-perception tests in our lab. I thank C. Zierhofer, now professor at the University of Innsbruck, for all his creativity and friendship, B. Wilson for our fruitful collaboration and friendship, J. Helms, former head of the ENT University Clinic Würzburg, and the 50 investigators of the COMBI 40 clinical study. Most of our early work was funded by the Austrian Research Council.

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Correspondence to Ingeborg Hochmair.

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I.H. is the chief executive officer and chief technology officer of MED-EL.

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Hochmair, I. The importance of being flexible. Nat Med 19, 1240–1244 (2013).

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