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A Solution For Blindness: World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Helps Blind Woman See Shapes & Colours

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 Ukshep    24,290

Tech is moving along super fast now. Let's call this stage 1 vision replacement shall we?

Can you imagine living in a world of darkness, a world you weren’t visually connected to? For many, this is the only reality they’ve ever known; for some, a new and terrifying experience. Fortunately, scientists are on the brink of discovering how to use technology to restore sight to the blind. In fact, a group of surgeons from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently implanted the world’s first visual stimulator chip into the brain of a 30-year-old blind woman. The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, started losing her eyesight in 2008 as a result of a rare disease called Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, which attacks the pigment in the eyes. After only a year, the disease took her eyesight from her; however, it did not take her hope. Eight years later, she can now see colours and shapes again thanks to a tiny stimulator laid on the back of her brain.

How the “Technology to Beat Blindness” Works

The device implanted into the patient’s brain was developed as part of the Orion I program by Second Sight. It was inspired by a similar device called the Argus II, which was released at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in 2015 and involves a similar camera that sends images to an implant behind the eye. However, in order for the Argus II to be successful, it requires the patient to have at least some working retinal cells. The technology behind Orion I was specifically designed for those who cannot benefit from the Argus II, as it takes this concept even further by making it compatible with those who have complete blindness as well. Since the system sends signals directly to the brain, it could theoretically work to restore sight to anyone, including those who lost an eye or were blinded by cancer (source).


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