History of the
The Cochlear Implant? Adam M. Kissiah, Jr. Invented the Cochlear
Henry Ford’s “Model T”
automobile of the early 1900s, and the Cadillac of the modern era have
the same BASIC design. All cars possess a frame, 4 wheels, power source,
transmission, steering wheel, and brakes, etc., but differ greatly in
the details of final design. Likewise, all cochlear implants MUST
incorporate the same BASIC design to be capable of “detecting” or
“demodulating” intelligence from the human voice (especially) residing
within an electronic signal. The successful cochlear implant must
also be capable of converting the detected intelligence (pattern) into
an appropriate electronic format for application to the acoustic (eighth
cranial) nerve, which in turn further transmits the encoded pattern to
the hearing center of the brain, where it is interpreted as meaningful
information. That is why implants from ALL (three) major
manufacturers work equally well in functionality, but are quite
different in final design enhancements.
Design of this basic
conversion process was first described by Adam Kissiah and exposed to
the public when it was revealed to James O. Harrell, Esquire, Patent
Counsel to NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center, in July, 1974. Mr.
Harrell also advised exposure to another person capable of understanding
the concept. This was done on August 01, 1974. Subsequent Patent
Office search and patent application for letters patent was completed in
May, 1977. Patent 4,063,047 was issued to Adam M. Kissiah, Jr. on
December 13, 1977. Reissue 31031, which further improved design, was
issued on September, 1982.
Some designs and
intra-cochlear implantations were made by others prior to the time
periods above, and were considered “successful” from a surgical and
medical point of view, with an equal number of proclamations and claims
of being “firsts” in cochlear implantation. Indeed, many important
advances in cochlear implantation WERE accomplished during the 1960s and
70s. These earlier implants were capable of providing background
sounds, and provided some aid to lip reading, and thus enabled patients
to attain a most welcome sense of “attachment” to the world of sound.
These earlier implants were incapable, however, of providing significant
comprehension of the intelligence of the spoken human voice. Greater
understanding of voice intelligence was accomplished as the designs
described in Patent 4,063,048 were utilized in subsequent cochlear
implants. Although Adam Kissiah was a full time employee with NASA at
the Kennedy Space Center, he participated as a consultant in an
implantation program during the early 1980s through license agreement
granted by Kissiah to Biostim, Inc., who in turn participated (also by
contractual agreement) with Stanford University, Dr. F Blair Simmons,
principal investigator, during a series of cochlear implants during that
period of time.
So, the answer to the
question "Who Invented The Cochlear Implant?" is, "Adam M. Kissiah, Jr.
Invented the Cochlear Implant!"
For more information, read
the following research paper on the History of the Cochlear Implant and
Cochlear Implant Technology:
Cochlear Implant History,
History of the Implantable Hearing Device
Cochlear Implant Technology
Adam M. Kissiah, Jr.
NASA-Kennedy Space Center, Retired
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
Southeast Region, Cape Canaveral Section
Paper on the History of
the Cochlear Implant and Cochlear Implant Technology
Following is a brief
overview of the paper:
Abstract - Cochlear
This paper will provide a brief history and description of the Cochlear
Implant, including early research, development, experimentation, and
the implant plus the names of many of the most renowned developers and
Section 2: Adam Kissiah's
involvement in hearing research subsequent to the experience of personal
hearing loss onset in the Early 1970s, deriving design of basic
specifications for simulation of the electronic functioning of the inner
ear (Cochlea) in humans. Kissiah’s subsequent award of Patent
(4,063,048, December 13, 1977) accomplished through the Kennedy Space
Center’s Technology Commercialization Program and Patent Counsel, James
O. Harrell, Esq.
Section 3: How our natural
hearing mechanism works, and how the Cochlear implant works in the
correction of hearing loss.
Section 4: Information
regarding implant availability including manufacturers, costs, clinics,
surgical aspects, and post-operative activation (therapy)
Section 5: Sources for