Bionic Eyes

Bionic eyes are emerging! The latest trials of retinal sensor implants have yielded better

Sub-retinal implant - courtesy of the Royal Society

results than before – and patient reports of adaptation remind me of descriptions from patients who have to adjust to the new sounds from cochlear implants that restore hearing – hearing, but not as they knew it before. In both cases, you still need a working cranial nerve which is why this technology won’t work for everyone. Of course the current costs are prohibitive, but this is a hugely exciting step forward as the greatest cause of blindness in the over 65s in the West is macular degeneration for which this technology could work. Such would be the demand it would bankrupt the NHS, so I expect the actuaries for the health insurers will be watching carefully!

 

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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