Fast Facts

Shape and size of the cochlea The cochlea is a snail shaped chamber the size of a fingernail on a 'pinky' finger and is fully formed at birth.
Number of nerve cells in the cochlea There are over 20,000 nerve cells, called Spiral Ganglion Cells, in the cochlea.
Complexity of the auditory physiology In the mid 1970's, the general scientific and ENT community around the world did not believe the multi-channel cochlear implant would work. In fact, it is quite surprising the cochlear implant does work considering the complex auditory physiology. It shows how powerful the brain is in making sense of the information it receives from the cochlear implant.
Number of electrodes on the cochlear implant The electrode array contains 22 platinum stimulating contacts, each attached via a wire with a diameter less than 25 microns (this is approximately 1/4 the diameter of a human hair).
Diameter of the electrode array The 22 electrodes are inserted into the cochlea on a silicone carrier with a diameter of only 0.5-0.8mm.
The Freedom sound processor Contains a quad-core DSP, two microphones and inductive inputs for sound and an accessory jack for iPods, etc.
Prevalence of hearing loss Deafness is Australia’s most common birth defect, and it can be detected immediately after birth.
Unmet need Less than half of the children who qualify actually receive an implant, even less with adults.
Number of Nucleus cochlear implant recipients Over 120,000 recipients worldwide.
Extreme cochlear implant recipient ages 12 months – 90+ years of age
Cost effectiveness of cochlear implants Cochlear implants are one of the most cost-effective medical treatments of our day, greater than coronary bypass surgery or kidney dialysis.
Number of people in Cochlear Cochlear has over 1900 employees in over 20 countries.
Number of research and development staff Two hundred and forty-seven engineers and scientists are employed in all functions of the company.
Number of collaborative research projects, worldwide Currently there are over 80 collaborative studies with 140 collaborative centres around the world.










  • Australian Constructors Association
  • Cochlear
  • Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
  • Leighton Holdings Limited
  • Resmed
  • Thales
  • ARUP
  • KBR