bionic eye

Image credit – The Denver Post

Ever since science fiction novels, comics, TV shows, and movies have emerged, the idea of giving people who lost their vision an alternative, like a bionic eye, has been around and in recent years, the technology made fiction a reality. Recently in Colorado, a woman by the name of Jamie Carley was the recipient of such a prosthetic.

This made it the first time that Carley could see her son in 15 years, and it also made her the first person in Colorado to receive such an implant. Carley had been suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. This is a disease where the retinal cells are slowly killed, eventually rendering her blind.

However thanks to a 5-hour surgery at the UCHealth Eye Center in the University of Colorado Hospital, Carley could see again. This is thanks to the bionic eye which comes with a microchip built into it, and a small camera which basically transmits video to the microchip, which in turn stimulates the optic nerve and sends the visual information to her brain.

The surgeon who worked on it, Dr. Naresh Mandava, said that while the bionic eye works, it’s not yet perfect. “We’re pretty excited about it. The exciting thing about it is it works. It will help her navigating her house, going to the store. She has very coarse vision. She can identify shapes.”

Of course this is just the start as eventually if proven effective, it could lead to more use in other cases like macular degeneration for the elderly.

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