Published: February 16, 2022
A bionic eye could help blind people have sharp eyesight, a new medical trial suggests.
A flock of Australian sheep spent three months with surgically implanted bionic eyes as part of a medical trial. The trial’s results suggest that this technology could help people with specific types of blindness.
The name of the device is Phoenix 99, and it was first implanted in sheep to see if there were any side effects. The sheep didn’t show any adverse reactions, which means that humans will now test the bionic eye.
Blindness can come as a result of a damaged retina. The cells that make up the retina are located in the back of the eye, and they convert light into electrical messages.
The device has the ability to bypass the damaged retina cells and work with those cells that have some sensitivity left. This device is wirelessly linked to a small camera, and the camera is attached to a pair of glasses.
The two Australian universities in charge of the study, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, said they expect the finding to be around for many years to come and help people.
Statistics by the World Health Organization suggest that over 2.2 billion people worldwide suffer from different sorts of blindness.
Similar bionic eyes have already been in use. Argus II is one example already used by over 350 people in the world. And the company behind Argus II is working on more products that could help people with blindness.
Even though this industry is just beginning to grow, the sector is estimated to reach $426 million by 2028.
An ophthalmologist in New Jersey stated that these new advancements make diagnosing and patient care much better. However, experts say that the problem with tech like this is the high cost.