Bionic eye implant lets blind woman see

In a ground-breaking operation, an 88-year-old grandmother has become the first person in the UK to receive a bionic eye implant that lets blind woman see. The woman suffered from dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) caused her to lose sight in one eye.
The operation, part of a Europe wide trial, received the new device at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.
The procedure, which has allowed her to detect signals in her eye, has had a 2mm-wide microchip inserted under the retina and special glasses containing a video camera put on. They were connected to a computer worn round her waist.
Using AI algorithms, the computer identifies the main object picked up by the camera.
The result is then projected as an infra-red beam through the eye to the microchip, which converts it into an electrical signal and passes it to the brain.
After receiving the implant the grandmother said: “I am thrilled to be the first to have this implant. I am excited at the prospect of enjoying my hobbies again.
“Losing the sight in my left eye through dry AMD has stopped me from doing the things I love, like gardening, playing indoor bowls and painting with watercolours.
‘I am thrilled to be the first to have this implant, excited at the prospect of enjoying my hobbies again and I truly hope that many others will benefit from this too.”
The Prima System device, developed by Pixium Vision in France, with the research supported I the UK by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
Mahi Muqit, consultant vitreoretinal surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, said the device ‘offers hope’ to people suffering loss of vision due to dry AMD.
He said: ‘This ground-breaking device offers the hope of restoration of sight to people suffering vision loss due to dry AMD.
‘The success of this operation, and the evidence gathered through this clinical study, will provide the evidence to determine the true potential of this treatment.”
The bionic eye impant is a giant leap in dealing with blindness and although the technology is in its early development, the fact the it let the blind woman see will give many others hope.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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