A decades-long experiment to improve vision for those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may soon be realized in a device developed by a Stanford University ophthalmology professor which replaces light-sensitive cells in the retina.
Prof. David Palanker, a director of the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, has developed a device made up of image-processing goggles and specially-designed silicon chips in the retina converting ambient light to visible infrared images and projecting it on to the eyes.
But while the device is currently only able to reach 20/200 vision, an ongoing feasibility test involving five patients has already been initiated in Paris, France, while a second study is planned in the Eastern US within the year.
His team adopted a more optimal approach to his research by implanting photovoltaic cells under the damaged areas of the retina to pick up infrared signals and take on the function of damaged cones and cells by converting it into electrical signals.
Meanwhile, The CustomFlex Artificial Iris developed by Germany-based HumanOptics AG is a smart prosthetic device developed to treat iris defects and aims to restore sight to millions around the world.
The device is made of thin, foldable medical-grade silicone and is custom-sized and colored for each individual patient. A surgeon makes a small incision, inserts the device under it, unfolds the device and smoothens out the edges using surgical instruments. The device is held in place by the anatomical structures of the eye or, if needed, by sutures.
Clinical trials resulted in more than 70% of patients reporting significant decreases in light sensitivity and glare as well as an improvement in health-related quality of life following the procedure. In addition, 94% of patients were satisfied with the artificial iris’ appearance.
Technology and medicine becomes a potent combination
Because of technology, a pattern is now emerging where professional relationships foster with seemingly unlikely partnerships. In fact, it does make good sense with current medical breakthroughs that are happening across the world.
With doctors now relying on computer systems with artificial intelligence-driven systems and deep-learning algorithms to create smart prosthetics, it’s not a surprise to find the medical industry tapping into IT solutions and support with guidance from industry experts such as IT consulting VA.
Smart prosthetics make good use of the valuable and vital collaboration of medical research institutions and infrastructure technology services to realize what was once thought impossible in the field of medicine.
With advanced technologies hugging the limelight in the medical industry, you can count on reliable network service from It support Virginia, where cutting-edge and state-of-the-art network solutions are as competitive as anywhere else in the US.
From top to bottom
Hundreds or even thousands of smart prosthetic varieties are currently being developed from the head down to the foot to provide replacements for damaged or missing body parts, thanks to technology.
Don’t be surprised to find that someday soon, you may see someone happily walking down the street who used to be blind, a leg amputee playing basketball or an artist painting masterpieces who enjoys a new lease on life thanks to a smart heart prosthetic in place of a diseased heart.
Smart prosthetics may not be the real thing compared to human tissues, but it does give people a chance to improve their quality of lives.