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Evidence to Improve Care

Implantable Devices for Single-Sided Deafness and Conductive or Mixed Hearing Loss


Draft Recommendation

Health Quality Ontario, under the guidance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding:

  • Cochlear implantation for adults and children with single-sided deafness

  • Bone-conduction implantable devices for adults and children with single-sided deafness who have a contraindication to cochlear implantation

  • Bone-conduction implantable devices for adults and children with conductive or mixed hearing loss

Read the draft recommendation report

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Some people with hearing loss are not good candidates for standard hearing aids, and surgically inserted devices may help restore their hearing. A cochlear implant is a device that helps the brain perceive sound, and a bone-conduction implant is a device that activates hearing via skull vibration.

Health Quality Ontario looked at how safe and effective these devices are for three types of hearing loss: single-sided deafness, which is profound sensorineural hearing loss (caused by damage to the organ or the nerve in the inner ear) or hearing that is not functional in one ear; conductive hearing loss, caused by a mechanical problem with the ear’s ability to conduct sound vibrations; and mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

We also looked at the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of publicly funding cochlear and bone-conduction implants, and we talked with people with single-sided deafness, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss to learn about their experiences, preferences and values.

Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more information.

Implantable Devices for Single-Sided Deafness and Conductive or Mixed Hearing Loss: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
November 2018

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Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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