Advanced Bionics has obtained approval from the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) for its Neptune waterproof cochlear implant sound processor.

The lightweight Neptune sound processor is designed to help cochlear implant recipients hear both in and out of the water. According to Advanced Bionics, the sound processor can be used in oceans, lakes and rivers as well as pools, showers and baths.

Featuring freestyle design, the processor allows recipients to hear the world of sound with the comfort and beauty of nothing on the ear. It was developed for all weather, terrain, ages and lifestyles.

Neptune has won the prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design from the German-based Red Dot Institute for Advanced Design Studies. The sound processor also received a Silver Shaggie award in recognition of excellence in product design from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

It was also awarded a Gold Stevie Award for Best New Product or Service of the Year, Health & Pharmaceuticals at the Ninth Annual International Business Awards.

According to the company, Neptune processor can be wearable anywhere and any way the users choose, such as in the hair, on an arm, under a collar, in a pocket. It includes removable controls that make it tamper-proof so that children can always hear their best.

Advanced Bionics Asia-Pacific vice president Robert Gulock said that Neptune is the sound processor Japanese cochlear implant recipients have been waiting for.

"Finally, the first truly swimmable CI processor is available in Japan. Only AB’s processors feature the AquaMic microphone that allows you to hear in water. Neptune can be used in the bath or onsen, for swimming and all sports. And now there is no more concern about being caught in the rain or wearing your processor during the hot and humid Japanese summer," Gulock added.