After a long wait, 3D ear scanning technology wins FDA approval

David Kirkwood
March 26, 2013

CAMBRIDGE, MA—About a year ago, Lantos Technologies Inc. of Cambridge crossed the Charles River to introduce its much-heralded 3D Intra-Aural Digital Scanner at the Hearing Solutions exhibition of the American Academy of Audiology Convention in Boston. The company said that its scanner used patented dual-wavelength algorithm technology that provided “the first platform capable of measuring direct ear scans as well as ear canal dynamics and tissue elasticity.”

Lantos said that its system would enable audiologists and other hearing care providers to perform fast and painless measurement of the ear canal.

The technology drew plenty of traffic in Boston and it also caught the attention of, which ran two posts on it last spring.

Back in April 2012, Lantos said that its innovative technology, which was developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, would reach the market by the end of the year. That proved an over-optimistic prediction.



Finally, on March 18, Lantos Technologies announced that it had received the news it was waiting for: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had given it clearance to sell its 3-D ear scanning system.

That was just in time for it to be exhibited as an approved technology at AudiologyNOW! 2013, which will be held April 3-6 in Anaheim, CA.

According to Lantos, the system “streamlines the process of obtaining ear topology measurements for custom-fit in ear devices” by replacing the process of taking a silicone impression for the production of custom-fit ear devices.

Jeffrey Leathe, CEO and chairman of the board at Lantos, said, “The straightforward process of obtaining a 3-D representation of the ear canal by our system provides opportunities to improve efficiencies across the hearing device value chain.” He added, “The 3-D Ear Scanning System also promises manufacturing efficiencies, simplifies logistics, and improves the turnaround time for product delivery to the customer.”

However, hearing aid providers shouldn’t get rid of their impression-taking equipment and materials just yet. The system is not expected to be available commercially until later this year.

  1. I love the idea of being able to just scan somebodys’ ear right in the office and sending that electronically to the factory. Especially when you may have some unusual ear canals or difficult to fit patients, maybe surgical ears that are sensitive to impression material… I could see the many benefits of this sort of technology.

    Looking forward to it.

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