It's not quite implantable, but Insound Medical's new Lyric hearing aid is about as close as you can get, with it designed to squeeze in deep in your ear canal and sit just a few millimeters from your ear drum. That, the company says, not only allows for the wearer to hear much more natural sounds since they don't have to be amplified as much, but allows them to wear the hearing aid for 24 hours a day. Of course, a device of that size also poses a number of problems, but Insound appears to have all those sorted out, with it employing a special "spongy material" that allows moisture to escape and prevent infection, and a magnet to actually remove the device from the ear. On the downside, the device is apparently still too large for about half of potential patients, but the company says it's now working on a newer version that should accommodate about 85 percent of patients. It also, as you might have guessed, doesn't come cheap, with it costing between $2,900 to $3,600 for an annual "subscription" for both ears, which includes replacement devices for whenever the non-replaceable battery dies.

[Via Medgadget]

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