Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Can See Clearly Now, Part II

As Peter Griffin might say, Holy Freaking Crap! Ladies and gentlemen, don't you even try to tell me we're not living in the Future! I give to you Implantable Telescopes. Yeah, you heard me. Like, in the eyeball! Holy Freak...oh, I already said that.

It's for those with Advance Macular Degeneration, a kind of slow march to blindness that inflicts quite a few of our older and wiser citizens. It's still in clinical trials, but so far so good. Now, set your WayBack machine in reverse and imagine this technology 20 years from about 50 years...or 100? See what I mean?

From the company's website:

The prosthetic telescope, together with the cornea, acts as a telephoto system to enlarge images 3X or 2.2X, depending on the device model used. The telephoto effect allows images in the central visual field ('straight ahead vision') to not be focused directly on the damaged macula, but over other healthy areas of the central and peripheral retina. This generally helps reduce the 'blind spot' impairing vision in patients with AMD, hopefully improving their ability to recognize images that were either difficult or impossible to see.

The prosthetic telescope is implanted by an ophthalmic surgeon in an outpatient surgical procedure. The device is implanted in one eye, which provides central vision as described above, while the non-implanted eye provides peripheral vision for mobility and navigation. After the surgical procedure, the patient participates in a structured vision rehabilitation program to maximize their ability to perform daily activities. Situated in the eye, the device allows patients to use natural eye movements to scan the environment and reading materials.

A Phase II/III clinical trial, which has completed patient enrollment of over 200 patients, is on-going. Final clinical results are expected in the second half of 2005.

[via UberGizmo via MedGadget]


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