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This week, a United States FDA panel recommended the Argus II retinal prosthesis chip for approval. Already in use in Europe, the Argus II chip has 60 electrodes that could allow patients blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP) to improve their vision. While this is a far cry from the technology that the character Geordi la Forge on Star Trek NTG uses to see, this imminent approval takes us one step closer to making that a reality.
The device works by coupling a wearable camera to an internally implanted microchip in the retina. The electrodes in the chip stimulate the cells of the retina that the brain can interpret as an image.
Technology like this has the potential to drastically improve the lives of those permanently blinded by multiple eye diseases. As a vision specialist, I couldn’t be more excited to hear news about progress like this.
Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net
(Note: I have no financial relationship to the company or products described in this post.)