A new pioneering eye treatment?
A new procedure funded by NHS England will help ten people with an inherited form of blindness by fitting “bionic eye” implants.
Five patients with retinitis pigmentosa will be treated at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and the other five will be at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London in 2017.
Patients involved will be given a pair of glasses which are mounted with a camera, it then captures light and sends wireless signals to the implant inside the retina.
The implant is then able to send information to the brain to help patients regain their sight.
Professor Paulo Stanga, from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, was involved in the trials using the Argus II bionic eye, he said: “I’m delighted that our pioneering research has provided the evidence to support NHS England’s decision to fund the bionic eye for the first time in patients.
“It surpassed all of our expectations when we realised that one of the retinitis pigmentosa patients in Manchester using the bionic eye could identify large letters for the first time in his adult life.”
The treatment will be funded as part of a scheme that assesses treatments that are showing promise for the future.
Patients involved will be monitored for a year to see how the implant improves their lives.