The 88-year-old woman underwent an operation at Moorfield Eye Hospital in London, having a 2mm wide microchip under her retina. The chip offers the hope of partially restored vision
A gran has become the first UK patient to be fitted with a bionic eye.
Moorfield Eye Hospital has surgically inserted a 2mm wide microchip under the retina of the unnamed 88-year-old.
The chip interacts with special glasses containing a video camera to send electrical signals via her optical cells that can then be interpreted by the brain.
The breakthrough, part of a European clinical trial, offers the hope of partially restored vision for people with an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration.
Around 600,000 people in the UK currently have sight loss caused by AMD.
The patient, from Dagenham, East London, said: “Losing the sight in my left eye through dry AMD has stopped me doing the things I love, like gardening and playing indoor bowls.
“I am thrilled to be the first to have this implant, excited at the prospect of enjoying my hobbies again and I truly hope many others will benefit from this.”
By 2050 an estimated 1.3 million people will be suffering sight loss caused by AMD, which affects the middle part of your vision and usually strikes people in their 50s and 60s. While not causing total blindness, it can make everyday activities like reading difficult.
The French-developed Prima System device uses a microchip to transmit the visual scene projected by the glasses to a small computer on the patient’s waistband.
Artificial intelligence algorithms tells the glasses to focus on what it perceives as the main object.
The glasses project this image as an infra-red beam through the eye to the chip, which converts it into an electrical signal.
This signal passes through the retina and opti-cal cells to the brain where it is interpreted as if it were natural vision.
Mahi Muqit, consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital, in London, said: “This groundbreaking device offers the hope of restoration of sight to people suffering vision loss due to dry AMD.”