The artificial retina known as Argus II and created by the company Second Sight has bee approved for market sale in Europe.
Yep, you read that right. There is a retinal microchip that you can go out and buy and have implanted. Right now.
This is the first of many treatments that we’ve been watching that is actually available for patients outside of research trials and the ramifications are pretty exciting.
Second Sight explains how the Argus II works: “The system works by converting video images captured from a miniature camera, housed in the patient’s glasses, into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the retina. These pulses then stimulate the retina’s remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. Patients learn to interpret these visual patterns thereby gaining some functional vision.”