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Professor Helen Cullington 

Professorial Fellow

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Professor Helen Cullington is passionate about her work: innovative scientific research combined with changing people’s lives.

A cochlear implant is an implanted electronic device that provides hearing to adults and children with severe to profound deafness. Helen Cullington is a clinician and researcher working at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service. She has more than 25 years’ experience in cochlear implants, having worked on several cochlear implant programmes within the United Kingdom and the United States, including House Ear Institute in Los Angeles.

Pin points Choice in UK
Choice map of the UK

Helen’s remote care work allows people with cochlear implants to manage their care at home using the new CHOICE webapp.  With CHOICE, patients can check their hearing, practise listening in background noise, practise using the phone and listening to music, upload a photo of their implant site, order spare parts, and receive advice related to their cochlear implant.    

“I would be very keen to get involved in this – I live a 2 hour journey away from the centre, so being able to do some tuning/checking remotely would be of huge benefit to me”

Patient quote

There are more than 17,000 people using cochlear implants in the UK, and 800,000 worldwide - the number is rapidly growing.  Currently patients have to attend their centre regularly for life.  CHOICE allows patients to take care of their hearing health at home, with alerts to the patient and clinic when help is required.  This offers advantages to the patient and clinic:


*more empowered and confident patients

 *more accessible and equitable care – no matter where you live

 *stable hearing

 *more efficient, person-centred and scalable service (saving NHS money)

 *more satisfied and engaged patients and clinicians

 *reduced carbon footprint from much less patient travel

We are now offering CHOICE in 8 UK cochlear implant centres.

Woman using a computer to look at Choice
Student on her mobile

Telemedicine for adults

Telemedicine for adults using cochlear implants

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New Cochlear Implant Clinical Trial

Clinical Trial At University Of Southampton

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Student studying

Following the success of a Randomised Controlled Trial (BMJ Journals), Helen is now scaling up her innovative remote care pathway to 8 UK cochlear implant centres, supported by a £0.5 million grant from The Health Foundation.

Research group

Human Sciences Group

Research project(s)

Telemedicine in cochlear implants

This project is exploring different ways of providing long term follow up to cochlear implant users.

2 ears are better than 1

What benefit do people with hearing loss get from using two devices, one in each ear?

European CS19 Validation And Normative Data Collection

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Book Chapter


Creative Media and Artefacts




Teaching Load 2018-19

  • AUDI6012 Fundamentals of Auditory Implants (lecturer)
  • Supervises BSc, MSc and PhD students

In August 2010 the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service implanted the first Neurelec binaural cochlear implant in the UK. Although there is only one implant placed behind the ear, there are two electrodes. One electrode goes into the cochlea as usual; the other long electrode is passed over the head (under the skin) and implanted in the other ear. The two electrode arrays are driven by a single speech processor.

There was widespread national and local media coverage; The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express, BBC online, the Daily Echo, Wave 105FM, HeartFM and Isle of Wight Radio plus numerous science and medical websites all reported on the operation. Helen was interviewed and featured in The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and on the radio for Wave105FM.

Key facts

Watch the video above of a Neurelec user’s own video of hearing for the first time.


Helen is supervising a PhD student working on a project to see how well Neurelec users can hear in background noise, and work out where sounds are coming from.


Auditory Implant Service PhD student projects

Professor Helen Cullington
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 19/3015

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