Nucleus SmartNav

  • 2022

  • Product
    Medical and Scientific

Commissioned By:

Cochlear Ltd

Designed In:


The Cochlear™ Nucleus® SmartNav system is a new intraoperative tool designed to support surgeons performing cochlear implant surgeries. By delivering a suite of clinically relevant metrics in a fast and intuitive manner, the system provides surgical assurance for both hearing professionals and their patients.

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  • Cochlear implant surgery is a procedure that can allow people with certain types of deafness to hear better. The insertion of the cochlear electrode is traditionally a “blind” procedure relying on the surgeon’s skill and perception for inserting and correctly placing the electrode. Cases of electrode complications may only be identified after surgery, which may result in revision surgery and can impact the patient’s hearing outcomes. The design challenge was to develop an intuitive system to help surgeons by providing real-time feedback in the operating theatre during the delicate process of electrode placement, thus reducing the need for intraoperative imaging.

  • The Nucleus® SmartNav system introduces new technology which provides more data for surgeons to visualise their insertion in real time and assess their electrode placement in theatre. This is achieved with the use of the Nucleus SmartNav iOS-based App and a surgical processor. It utilises the iPad Bluetooth® to wirelessly connect to the surgical processor, which stimulates and measures electrode feedback via the implant and surgical processor link. The product introduces valuable insights to assess electrode placement including the real-time angular insertion depth and speed of insertion measurements, and Placement Check.

  • The Nucleus® SmartNav system is a new tool to support surgeons when placing a cochlear implant. The Nucleus SmartNav system provides wireless and real-time actionable intraoperative insights, presented visually on an iPad, to support the navigation of electrode insertion. These innovations may reduce the reliance on imaging during surgery, thus reducing time in the operating theatre. It has been designed to set a new benchmark in intraoperative measurement, and to provide increased assurance for professionals and their patients of their surgical outcome.

  • The Nucleus SmartNav system key features are: •Placement Check which provides valuable information on final electrode placement and may reduce the need for intraoperative imaging after electrode insertion. •Angular insertion depth provides real-time measurement of both this, and final electrode position, which may reduce the need for repositioning of the electrode and consequent damage to the cochlea. •Speed of insertion provides feedback on speed and consistency of the electrode insertion. •Fast impedance and AutoNRT® measurements provide added assurance that the device is operating as intended prior to leaving the operating room. Faster AutoNRT may reduce surgery times and may save costs, whilst impedance measurements check the electrical status of each individual electrode and detects any short- or open-circuit electrodes. •Nucleus SmartNav is designed to provide a holistic continuum of care by enabling the transfer of intraoperative data to the audiologist to aid in planning for the patient’s switch-on and programming with a sound processor. This enables a more streamlined experience as the patient transitions from surgery to the audiology clinic, assuring professionals that surgery has been successful, and can help optimise hearing outcomes.