Friday, February 15, 2013

Helping the Blind See

News today that the FDA has approved a new device that can give partial vision back to people whose light-sensitive cells have been ravaged by retinitis pigmentosa. The device consists of a video camera, embedded in a pair of glasses, that broadcasts a signal to a grid of electrodes implanted in the eye (above). It's a fairly cumbersome rig that requires wearing a small computer on your hip as well as the glasses, and for most patients what it produces is far from normal sight. But it's something, and it points the way toward a time when will be able to fully restore sight to the blind.

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