Narrator: This is Science Today. A new cochlear implant called the Bionic Ear is set to begin clinical trials at the University of California, San Francisco and other leading medical centers nationwide. Jan Larky, an audiologist at the university, says the study is targeting adults with profound hearing loss.
Larky: Even though the implant may not give somebody perfect hearing, this implant really has the ability to allow people to connect with other people through communication and most of these people will come in and say, "I can't communicate with my family. I feel totally isolated socially, because I can't hear them".
Narrator: Aside from these feelings of isolation, Larky says these implants greatly impact feelings of safety.
Larky: Many people live alone and with an implant you can hear if somebody's knocking on your door. Sounds around the house that are normal and not normal. So there's a certain amount of safety that comes from being able to hear.
Narrator: Those interested in the Bionic Ear trial should contact their local audiologist. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.