Publications in this series present information on the different types of health technologies available to the community with particular reference to the role, effectiveness and costs of these technologies. Such information should be of interest to people affected by these technologies, for instance, older people, their families, health care professionals and government agencies. The cochlear implant has become established over the last few years as a novel technology for providing the sensation of sound to the profoundly deaf. Australia has played a major role in the development and application of the cochlear implant. This report has been prepared in view of the interest in the technology, describes its present status, and discusses directions for future research.