Have you ever fitted and programmed a Naída Link Q for bimodal fitting in Phonak Target?
Do you remember when you had to manually enter in a bimodal code in order to pair the hearing aid to the sound processor, and activate bimodal settings?
Then, you had to carefully follow the Advanced Bionics (AB) bimodal report to determine the program structure and manually align the hearing aid to what was written in the report.
Not so time-saving, was it? Luckily, this is a thing of the past!
In Phonak Target 7.1 and higher , you can simultaneously detect and read out a Naída™ CI M90 or Sky CI™ M90 along with the Naída™ Link M or Sky™ Link M hearing aid. You now have complete alignment and consistency between the hearing aid and the sound processor right from the start of the fitting.
And, for your clients who undergo cochlear implantation, the bimodal fitting in Phonak Target allows you to provide a continuum of care even after they receive their implant.
Before we dive in deeper, let’s take a step back and briefly touch on the two different software versions available to program Naída Link M or Sky Link M.
Phonak Target and AB Target CI
These two versions of Target are needed due to the different classifications of the devices and the software for both FDA and TUV regulatory bodies.
- Naída Link M, Sky Link M and Phonak Target are classified as Medical Class IIa.
- Naída CI M, Sky CI M and Target CI are classified as Medical Class III.
Because of this difference in classification and the regulations surrounding the Class III device, the sound processor and Target CI have the primary role in a bimodal fitting.
Wireless connection to Phonak Target
In a bimodal fitting, both devices can be connected to Phonak Target using a Noahlink Wireless™ programming interface. The ability to connect the sound processor and hearing aid to a single software via a Noahlink Wireless is unique to Phonak and AB.
The hearing aid will always adopt the shared settings from the sound processor. The settings in the sound processor are read-only, meaning you can only view them and use the information to match the relevant settings on the hearing aid side.
This improves the transparency of the settings in the bimodal fitting and provides the client a more streamlined experience.
Let’s look at what is shared between the two devices and therefore managed by the sound processor:
- AutoSense OS/AutoSense Sky OS 3.0
- Program structure
- Binaural VoiceStream Technology (BVST)
- Microphone attenuation
- Enabling DataLogging
- Bluetooth® and own voice pick up side
- Indicator light
- Junior mode settings (age group and start up program)
The independent settings that can be adjusted in the hearing aid in Phonak Target, include:
- Acoustic parameters
- Fitting formula
- Feedback and real ear test
- Fine tuning of gain and maximum output (MPO)
- Program option settings
- Signals and alerts
Splitting up the settings in this way allows the bimodal system to function cohesively, while still providing you with the flexibility to determine what is appropriate for the programming of your client’s hearing aid.
Choosing a bimodal fitting formula
Conventional hearing aid prescriptions do not align acoustic and electric processing, which is required for optimal bimodal hearing. Phonak and AB offer a fitting formula tailored for bimodal fittings, Adaptive Phonak Digital (APD) Bimodal.
For adult bimodal fittings, APD Bimodal is the recommended formula as it aligns the frequency response, loudness growth, and dynamic behavior between the hearing aid and sound processor.
APD Bimodal is not recommended for pediatric clients as it has only been validated on adults. Therefore, it is suggested to use either DSL or NAL for pediatric fittings. These formulae have been validated on children and are designed to optimize speech intelligibility and speech development in children.
Memory lane with Naída Link Q and Naída CI Q?
This is a significant improvement from the capabilities we had with Naída Link Quest.
Manual entry of a bimodal code is no longer needed to pair the devices and activate bimodal settings. Simply connect the Naída or Sky Link M and the Naída or Sky CI M and bimodal fitting is detected, wireless pairing is automatic.
Even further, you no longer need to manually align the hearing aid to what was written in the AB bimodal report. This was time consuming and increased the risk of mismatched program structure between sides.
Plus, the benefit for the clients is that they can seamlessly switch between programs either in the AB Remote Mobile app, by using the remote control, or by using the on-board multifunction button, and both devices will automatically switch into the same program.
And we now provide a dedicated bimodal fitting for pediatric clients with the Sky Link M and Sky CI M.
To summarize, here are the four ways Phonak Target 7.1 improves bimodal fittings:
1. Wireless pairing is automatic between the hearing aid and sound processor.
2. The hearing aid automatically takes on the program structure of the sound processor. The benefit is having aligned settings right from the start of the fitting and having them fast.
3. Specialized bimodal fitting formula for adults. APD Bimodal aligns the frequency response, loudness growth, and compression between the hearing aid and sound processor.
4. Dedicated bimodal fitting for pediatric clients.