28 February 2021 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australian bionic eye lets the blind ‘see’ again for the first time in a new trial
Sue Dunlevy, News Corp Australia Network:
Sefa Kuzu has never seen the faces of his twins. The 50-year-old Melbourne father lost his sight to a degenerative eye disease before his son and daughter were born in 2005. But with help from a bionic eye developed in Australia, he is seeing more of them for the first time.
“I can tell how tall they are and how wide they are,” he said.
The bionic eye, implanted in 2018, is also helping Mr Kuzu navigate everyday life, “when walking on the streets, not bump(ing) into cars parked on the driveways” and finding the tools he needs for his woodwork.
Mr Kuzu is one of four people currently trialling the bionic eye created in Melbourne that is now poised to enter global trials to gain marketing approval. It’s thought the revolutionary device could be a lifeline to the 8000 Australians robbed of their sight by the degenerative genetic condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, which affects 1.5 million people worldwide and is the most common cause of inherited blindness.
News Corp Australia interviewed the four people currently trialling the device who said they were able to recognise objects on table tops, navigate obstacle courses, find doorways and make out the outlines of people nearby.
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