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Release: March 7, 2000

UI Health Care specialist to lead online chat on cochlear implants

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Bruce Gantz, M.D., University of Iowa professor and head of otolaryngology and director of the University of Iowa Health Care Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Institute, will lead an hour-long, online question-and-answer discussion on cochlear implants with a nationwide audience on from 7 to 8 p.m. (CST) Wednesday, March 8.

The online chat will be hosted by and can be accessed by entering through the home page under "Upcoming Events."

Cochlear implants are devices that take the place of damaged inner ear structures that cause profound hearing loss. In a functional ear, hair cells that line the cochlea change mechanical sound waves coming into the ear to electrical impulses that travel through nerves to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound. Cochlear implants use a microphone that picks up sound; a speech processor that replicates the function of the hair cells, changing acoustic energy into electrical signals; a transmitter; and an implanted electrode component containing a microchip that decodes and distributes the information along the cochlear nerve.

After receiving his medical degree at the UI, Gantz completed his residency in otolaryngology at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, and a fellowship in otology/neurotology at the University of Zurich, Otorhinolaryngologishe Klinik and Poliklinik, Zurich. He joined the UI faculty in 1980. Gantz is director and principal investigator of the Iowa Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center: Project IV, which is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. His clinical expertise is in neurotology, neurotologic skull base surgery, tumors of the skull base, cochlear implants and otology.

A calendar of other upcoming chats by UI Health Care professionals and dialogue from past chats can be accessed by logging on to and clicking on the logo at the bottom of the page.

UI Health Care’s partnership with is part of an increasing trend in health care toward enhancing consumer services through the Internet. According to recent statistics compiled by Cyber Dialogue, a New York firm that tracks Internet commerce, there are approximately 22 million World Wide Web users seeking health information over the Internet. Cyber Dialogue projects that number to increase to 33 million over the next year.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.