VisionCare, Inc, an Israeli company, has developed the Implantable Miniature Telescope, thought to be a permanent solution for vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The device, currently in Phase II/III clinical trials, has already shown some positive results.
The company, about its technology:
The prosthetic telescope, together with the cornea, acts as a telephoto system to enlarge images 3X or 2.2X, depending on the device model used. The telephoto effect allows images in the central visual field (‘straight ahead vision’) to not be focused directly on the damaged macula, but over other healthy areas of the central and peripheral retina. This generally helps reduce the ‘blind spot’ impairing vision in patients with AMD, hopefully improving their ability to recognize images that were either difficult or impossible to see.
The prosthetic telescope is implanted by an ophthalmic surgeon in an outpatient surgical procedure. The device is implanted in one eye, which provides central vision as described above, while the non-implanted eye provides peripheral vision for mobility and navigation. After the surgical procedure, the patient participates in a structured vision rehabilitation program to maximize their ability to perform daily activities. Situated in the eye, the device allows patients to use natural eye movements to scan the environment and reading materials.