It was bound to happen. Cochlear implants from the main manufacturers are too expnesive for many in foreign countries. Now India's scientists have come up with an inexpensive cochlear implant of their own, which will have clinical trials soon. How inexpensive? The Indian news media reports that the expected cost is as little as 1 lakh, compared to 7 to 10 lakh for the ones from the main manufacturers.
In India, a lakh is 100,000 rupees. An international currency converter (http://www.xe.com/) shows 100,000 rupees equal to $2,021.22 as of today. That means an implant today costs as much as $20,000 in India.
Who knows? Not too far in the future, we could see Americans and others heading to India to get cochlear implants. Not everyone has insurance that will cover the cost of a cochlear implant.