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Protoconch Research Study

Free glasses that connect to your Nucleus 7 cochlear processors

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Help Move Research Forward

Image of the Michigan College of Optometry. A text overlay reads "Protoconch Research - Ferris researches an adaptor for glasses and cochlear implants."

Prototype of Adapter to Connect Spectacles with Cochlear Implants

Ferris State University is performing a research study designed to help people who wear behind-the-ear cochlear implants wear glasses more easily. Our team from the Michigan College of Optometry has designed an investigational adaptor—the Protoconch—that connects spectacle frames with the Nucleus 7 cochlear implant processor, in a manner that—we believe—is safe, secure, comfortable, and easy to use.

If you or someone you care for wears Nucleus 7 cochlear implants with processors that are worn behind the ear, please consider enrolling in this study.

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Protoconch system layout

Study Format

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The study will require several visits by the primary investigator, Dr. Daniel Taylor, to take standard measurements for the fitting of glasses. These visits will be held at Michigan College of Optometry in Big Rapids, Michigan. If that is impractical, a local optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist can complete the measurements at your request, or we can obtain the measurements via teleconference with the primary investigator.

The primary investigator will hold several phone or teleconference interviews with participants and their families (if requested or necessary) to understand how the Protoconch works and how it can be made better. This information will help our team develop a version of the Protoconch that can be used by members of the general public.

There may be several versions of the Protoconch developed during the study period of February 1, 2024 to July 31, 2024. Participants will receive each new version of the Protoconch, and will have a chance to provide feedback on its utility.

Child with Protoconch system on

The Protoconch adaptor

Each participant enrolled in this study will receive at least one pair of specially-fit spectacle frames and the Protoconch adaptor. Participants and families may choose for these frames to be sunglasses, gamer glasses, or prescription glasses (which requires a current spectacle prescription). 

Participants can expect to complete several interviews with the primary or secondary investigator of approximately 15 minutes per interview, and receive study devices in the mail or in person for use. The total duration of your participation in the study is likely to be 4 to 6 weeks, with 30 minutes to 2 hours of total time spent talking to a worker in the study.

Submit your form if you or someone you care for are interested in enrolling in the study.

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Explore the Michigan College of Optometry

This project has been approved by external WSG IRB (#20235255)

Protoconch in the News

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