It’s another medical breakthrough. With two successful operations of two blind British patients who had been blind for several years gives hope to the many blind people who would love to get another chance into seeing the world in its full glory or to at least have a different view of the world and not live in total darkness.
So how does this bionic eye technology work? The doctors make an implant behind the retina which would be receiving electronic signals translated from the images captured by the camera found on the sunglasses that the patient will be wearing. Depending on the electrodes in the implant, an image is formed. 6 years ago, there are only 4 electrodes for the implants being used that translate to a very blurry black and white image. Now, 60 electrodes are available but even with this great improvement, the patient would still be getting blurry black and white images. They would be getting images but they still can’t recognize faces yet. In the future, doctors are aiming to create bionic eyes that could give not only black and white images, but images with colors and is a lot more detailed.
This new technology still has a long way to go before the blind can fully benefit from it. In the future, doctors are hoping that the blind would get to see the faces of their loved ones again. For now, having a blurry black and white image is enough to give hope to those who desperately wants to experience living out of the darkness.
For now, doctors are testing this bionic eye technology to many blind patients and are happy with the results although they know that this technology is still making its baby steps and is years away from producing clear and colored images. They estimate that it will take 5 more years before they could successfully implant high electrode implants with 1000 electrodes or even more.