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'Bionic eye implant' designed to help restore vision

August 08, 2019 - 4:00 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. ​

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The "bionic man" was once science fiction. Today, a company has developed a "bionic eye implant." The implant is designed to bring back some vision in patients with a genetic eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa. 

The bionic eye implant is not a miracle as it only restores minimal vision. The technology is still being developed, but it uses a camera mounted on a pair of glasses to capture images. The images are sent to a processor which uses special software to convert the images to a form which can be sent to an implanted chip near the retina. 

At that point, special electrodes implanted around the eye form an image. 

This is very early in the process, but there is hope it can be improved.