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Austrian cochlear implant pioneers, Dr Ingeborg Hochmair and Prof Erwin Hochmair have been granted the 2023 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for their outstanding contribution to communication and engineering.

The Hochmair’s each received the prestigious IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for the research and development of the world’s first microelectronic multichannel cochlear implant, implanted in 1977.  Since then, their work has changed the lives of people around the world.

The IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal is awarded “for exceptional contributions to communications and networking sciences and engineering.” The Medal, awarded annually by IEEE, the largest technical professional organisation advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, was established in 1976 to commemorate the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.

“Overcoming hearing loss as a barrier to communication has been our mission at MED-EL from the very beginning. We’re very proud of the pioneering innovations that have been made possible thanks to decades of painstaking research, significant advances in the fields of science, engineering and technology, and of course collaborations with medical experts, scientists, and implant users worldwide. Our goal is that people who use our devices truly benefit from medical innovations now and in the future and are able to achieve as close to natural hearing as possible” explained award-winning MED-EL CEO, Dr Ingeborg Hochmair.

Since its inception the Medal has been awarded to just 58 visionaries whose contributions have made a lasting impact on communications, networking sciences and engineering. Not only are Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair the first Austrians ever to receive the IEEE Medal but they are the first recipients acknowledged for the development of a medical device. Dr Ingeborg Hochmair is also only the second woman in the Alexander Graham Bell Medal’s 47-year-history to receive this award.




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