Sonitus Medical Attracts CIA Dollars

earSonitus Medical Inc., developer of a non-surgical hearing aid that is designed to transmit sound via the teeth, announced that it has received an investment from In-Q-Tel, a strategic investment firm that was started by the CIA. California-based Sonitus did not disclose terms of the investment and their agreement with In-Q-Tel, which identifies technology that supports the mission of the CIA and the U.S. intelligence community. Previous investment rounds were led by Aberdare Ventures, Novartis Venture Funds, and RWI Ventures.

The SoundBite device is the world’s first and only hearing device that relies on bone conduction to transmit sound via the teeth. Sound is picked up via a tiny microphone worn within the ear canal, and processed by a behind-the-ear unit that transmits the signals to a custom-fit device worn on the patient’s upper molars. The oral device picks up signals from the behind-the-ear unit and converts them into sound vibrations. The device is currently undergoing clinical trials for FDA clearance for single-sided deafness.

Other companies working in the hearing-aid device space include Cochlear Americas, Advance Bionics Corporation, Dynamic Hearing, Sonic Innovations, and Cochlear.

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