European Union Promoted Research Cooperation in Hard of Hearing; the Bioear Project

  • Ilmari Pyykkö
  • Josef Miller


The economic bases of our society— the way the people make their living — has undergone fundamental change during the last half of the 20th century. The important changes include: increased mean age of population, dependency on communicative skills, and a significant increase of environmental noise exposure. In the past we depended largely on manual labor. Today, we are in an increasingly in the service oriented economy and we depend increasingly upon communication skills — hearing, speech and language. This, in turn, has a profound effect on human productivity, our definition of illness, and society’s expectation and demands placed on health care professionals. About 13% of Europeans have a communication disorder that almost exclusively depends on hearing impairment. It is the number one disability in Western countries. It hinders education, job opportunities, productivity, and satisfaction, leads to isolation, an increase in medical care and costs, and a significant decrease in the quality of life.


Hair Cell Cochlear Implant Auditory Nerve Cochlear Implantation Auditory Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilmari Pyykkö
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josef Miller
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Research project BioearFinland
  3. 3.Kresge Hearing Research InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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