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Ina Fried Jul 31
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A Cochlear implant that talks to an iPhone

Rachel Waterman, calling her dad, using the made-for-iPhone Cochlear implant for the first time. Ina Fried / Axios

This week, the company behind the Cochlear implant announced a new version of its processor that connects wirelessly to an iPhone. That means anything on the phone — calls, movies on Netflix or songs from iTunes — get streamed right into the ear of those with severe to profound hearing loss.

Why it matters: The new Cochlear-iPhone connection highlights one of the most important trends in the mobile industry. Whereas once it was all about the changes being made to the phone itself, now even basic smartphones are so powerful that the most impactful innovation is coming from all the things that connect to the phone. Medical devices, which typically take longer to come to market because of regulatory approval, but promise to shift this from matters of convenience to improving and ultimately extending life.