FDA Approves Vision System That Helps Certain Blind Patients Regain Lost Vision
Generally speaking logic says that when you are blind that you cannot
see the world around you. One company, Second Sight Medical Products,
Inc., hopes to change all of that and this week they have made a major
stride forward. Their system, dubbed the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis
System, has been approved for use by the FDA. The device is described by the FDA
in the following terms, "The device, which includes a small video
camera, transmitter mounted on a
pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted
retinal prosthesis (artificial retina), replaces the function of
degenerated cells in the retina (a membrane inside the eye) and may
improve a patient’s ability to perceive images and movement. The VPU
transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is
wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis."
The condition that the system is designed to treat is known as advanced retinitis pigmentosa, a relatively rare genetic condition that does damage to light-sensitive cells that line the retina. The condition is progressive, beginning by reducing side vision, then night vision and finally taking the rest of the vision in its advance stage. The study that gained approval was done on 30 adults, and 19 had no adverse effects. the device is approved for patients 25 years or older.
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