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The last years' developments could show that the rehabilitation with hearing implants is a field with the highest potential for development and innovation in otorhinolaryngology. New or extended indications were seen with developments of implants, new surgical techniques, and respective rehabilitation strategies.With the background of limited resources, the increasing number of subjects suffering from hearing disorders, the extended indications and thus the increasing number of CI carriers as well as the need of life-long CI follow-up are one of the major challenges of the future. In order to cope with this situation, completely new strategies are required beside a close interdisciplinary cooperation and continuous development of the therapy. In this context, digitization of all these processes plays a key role.This manuscript will describe and discuss the current developments from the perspective of a cochlea implant (CI) providing hospital. The contribution will elucidate manifold digital applications that may be implemented in all phases of CI provision, starting with patient information about the possibilities of hearing screening and preoperative evaluation up to life-long follow-up and clinical research.The focus is mainly placed on specific applications that play a particular role in the development of digital progresses and structures in the context of cochlea implantation and that are crucial for understanding the further development.The options of simplified fitting result for example from automated MAP creation (artificial intelligence); remote care networks (telemedicine, apps) foster the active contribution of the patients themselves and allow completely new types of location-independent healthcare (automated technical implant control, individual settings, upgrades). Central databases may create backups of the current MAP (for example in cases of repair), and document technical data and the hearing performance. Some applications described here, are already implemented in the routine, others are currently being developed.Understanding the possibilities of digitization and their implementation in the context of hearing rehabilitation with hearing implants as well as the recognition of the enormous potential for effective, time-efficient structures is essential in order to use this potential. We as ENT specialists are important protagonists in the healthcare system and beside our high specific expertise we have to meet the requirements of our qualification with regard to digital applications so that we might actively contribute to the success of this process.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Laryngo- rhino- otologie
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