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Implantable Eye Telescope Finally FDA Approved 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.
kkleiner writes "A telescopic implant that fits directly into the eye to treat certain kinds of blindness has finally received FDA approval for use in the US after more than five years of waiting. The Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) is used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that affects millions around the world. For many, the center part of their vision becomes blurred or completely dark. The IMT is surgically implanted into the cornea and acts to expand an incoming image onto the peripheral parts of the retina that are undamaged by AMD. The commercial version of the IMT is called CentraSight and is in development by VisionCare Inc. There are likely hundreds of thousands of potential patients in the US alone who may be able to have their vision partially restored now that CentraSight has garnered FDA approval."
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Implantable Eye Telescope Finally FDA Approved

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @01:53PM (#32842620) Homepage Journal

    Does each set come with cool "DOO Doo doo doo doooooo..." sound effects and a Lindsay Wagner blow up doll?
    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:03PM (#32842736)

      Does each set come with cool "DOO Doo doo doo doooooo..." sound effects and a Lindsay Wagner blow up doll?

      Sorry, but this is just a super-cool telescopic eye not a McDonald's Bionic Happy Meal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sconeu (64226)

      Anyone remember the IBM "road warriors" commercial, where they're talking about Biometrics, and this one guy thinks it's "Bionics"?

      He makes the "bionic sound", and a guy reading the newspaper says, "It's more like [insert better 'bionic sound' here]".

      The guy with the newspaper is Lee Majors.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Forget your sound effects, all I want is zoom, X-ray vision, night vision and thermal vision options.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RsG (809189)

        zoom

        Also known as "tunnel vision", and an excellent way to walk into fire hydrants if you forget to turn it off. I can see the lawsuits already.

        X-ray vision

        And we all despair, as the naughty bits of attractive ladies everywhere get cancer.

        thermal vision

        Thermographic cameras need to be cooled in order to pick up on heat signatures for objects at body temp. I sincerely hope your eyeball mounted version is well insulated, as the prospect of having one's vitreous fluid frozen solid is enough to make me wince.

        And despite all this... Yeah,

        • X-ray vision

          And we all despair, as the naughty bits of attractive ladies everywhere get cancer.

          X-Ray vision couldn't work like that - the eyes need to recieve x-rays. Either there are ambient x-rays (perhaps a component of sunlight, I didn't bother to look this up) or x-ray vision is just a catch-all term for seeing through shit.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          zoom

          Also known as "tunnel vision", and an excellent way to walk into fire hydrants if you forget to turn it off. I can see the lawsuits already.

          No, tunnel vision doesn't involve any zoom, it's more like letterboxing. Obviously you've never been truly pissed off.

          Thermographic cameras need to be cooled in order to pick up on heat signatures for objects at body temp.

          There's no particular reason that has to be true. In fact, it's already untrue [wikipedia.org].

          X-Ray vision is unworkable today but perhaps someday backscatter X-Ray will be developed into a passive system which uses ambient rays.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by milkmage (795746)

      better stronger faster.
      the episodes with bigfoot scared the shit out of me.

      and the one with the mars probe that went all HAL on 'em.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Before they can emit laser beams, but we're almost there, guys!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by natehoy (1608657)

      Laser beams? Silly boy! This is an eye implant! No room for the sharks.

      • by Dishevel (1105119)
        The eye has liquid. Real possible that we could genetically engineer really small sharks to go with the tiny lasers and let them swim around in your tears. It would though be a very sad life for the sharks.
        • But what would they eat? Probably your retinea, which as far as I can tell, pretty much puts us back where we started.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            How about the floaters? Then once the vitreous humor was gone they could be removed via a syringe with blood in it to attract them.

      • good point, then how about the x-ray vision? I guess one of those giant TSA scanners won't fit in an eye either, huh?
  • I feel gipped... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cobryce (594622) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:03PM (#32842740)
    I know I'm not the only one expecting a device that would allow me to enjoy some backyard astronomy anytime, anywhere. I am very disappointed.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by ricosalomar (630386)
      Not trying to be a racial-slur-nazi, but it's Gypped.
      Although I see that 'gip' is acceptable, why not strive for authenticity?
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I won't take this disrespect, white man from town. Your karma shall get... THIIIIINNERRRRRR! ::strokes your cheek with a bony finger::
      • Not trying to be a racial-slur-nazi, but it's Gypped. Although I see that 'gip' is acceptable, why not strive for authenticity?

        Not trying to be a Nazi-Nazi, but it's Nazi, not nazi.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)

      If it's going to fit in your eye, then the largest possible aperture would be too small to make for very enjoyable stargazing.

      I have a 7x18 monocular that I carry with me, and it's decent for getting a little more detail on not-too-distant birds to maybe allow an ID, or general hey-I-have-a-spyglass fun, but it's useless for astronomy. Can't even see the Galilean moons of Jupiter with it.

      I feel ya though, I too want telescope eyes. But for backyard astronomy anywhere (so, I guess not backyard), just pick

      • Well, obviously it would just be the 'eye-piece' that fit in your eye. I was envisaging walking around with a telescope sticking out of your face.

    • I know I'm not the only one expecting a device that would allow me to enjoy some backyard astronomy anytime, anywhere. I am very disappointed.

      I found a portable device that'll let you do this here [amazon.com]. Side effects include soreness of hands and shoulders and an occupation of physical space, but if you have an attractive neighbor it evens out.

    • Don't feel too bad, most of us were expecting a device that would allow us to enjoy some friendly neighbor watching of that hot chick across the street anytime, in the comfort of our living room. Suffice to say, we were disappointed as well.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        I thought I had a way to get around that restraining order for the nude beaches. Makes me sad too.

    • by ch-chuck (9622)

      I was expecting something that would let me zoom in on the window of the girl next door, anytime.

  • Weeell~ (Score:5, Funny)

    by Reilaos (1544173) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:05PM (#32842758) Homepage
    I certainly didn't have the foresight to see this coming!
  • by Haffner (1349071) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:05PM (#32842760)
    If implanted in a person with 20/20 vision, what would be the effects?
    • by northernfrights (1653323) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:08PM (#32842794)
      Apparently, all it would do is give you a fish eye bubble in the center of your vision. This is definitely not something that a person with normal vision wants. It's a 'better than nothing' option for people going blind.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well they'd be both pissed off and able to track you as you ran away.

      Doesn't seem like a good idea.

    • by Animaether (411575) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:10PM (#32842812) Journal

      That person would see much the same as the patients with AMD. That is to say a loss of vision in the central region of your visual range (in the case of a non-AMD person: because the telescope is in the way, if nothing else), and all vision that -would- have fallen into the central region instead being expanded out toward the outer regions, essentially giving you a ring or donut shaped view of the world.
      The article also mentions that if the person with AMD still has a good eye as well, that eye would be left untreated to provide for peripheral vision. That implies that with the device, peripheral vision would also be, to an extent, lost.

      • Damn, that's horrible. The moral of the story is: Use Intel.

      • by Atraxen (790188)

        It sounds like this could be a treatment that (with some modification) could be used to treat folks with laser damage to their eyes (or any other damage caused by highly focused light.) In that case, the 'donut hole' would be fairly small. To some degree, I also wonder if defocusing an area that illuminates small blind spots might be advantageous - instrad of a blind spot, instead the person would have a blurry spot...

        • by Laser Dan (707106)

          It sounds like this could be a treatment that (with some modification) could be used to treat folks with laser damage to their eyes (or any other damage caused by highly focused light.) In that case, the 'donut hole' would be fairly small. To some degree, I also wonder if defocusing an area that illuminates small blind spots might be advantageous - instrad of a blind spot, instead the person would have a blurry spot...

          It's better to have a blind spot. After a while your brain filters it out and you don't notice it unless you really try to look at something with that area. With a blurry spot you would have an annoying blurred patch larger than the damaged area, which again may be filtered out by your brain, resulting in a larger "blind spot". And you would have a chunk of plastic sticking out of your eyeball.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        peripheral vision

        Sometimes the jokes write themselves. :D

      • by corbettw (214229)

        giving you a ring or donut shaped view of the world.

        So not unlike the vision normally enjoyed by new brides and cops?

      • by Syberz (1170343)

        The way you're explaining this, that widget sounds more like a reflector than a telescope in the fact that it doesn't zoom what the eye sees but deflects it to a part of the eye that can interpret it.

      • yeah we knew that amd was shit. but it makes the user essentially BLIND?!!
        thanks man, thanks for saving my eyesight.

    • by compro01 (777531) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:17PM (#32842896)

      It would make a normal person's vision worse.

      Macular degeneration results in a blank spot in the centre of your vision. This thing works by routing around that blank spot to sections of the retina which are unobstructed. It sacrifices some visual acuity to allow a full field of vision.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DynaSoar (714234)

      The visual field would soon 'look' fairly normal as neural plasticity made the peripheral visual system do the job of the central and integrate that into visual processing. There would be loss of visual and color acuity since the peripheral retina isn't as densely populated, and had very little chromatic visual receptors. Within weeks any differences noted would fade as what's being presented became to seem normal.

  • Gadget binoculars!
  • by dlsso (1808390)
    Call me again when it's got at least 10x zoom.
  • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:11PM (#32842824) Homepage Journal

    Replacement:

    Arms - Check
    Legs - Check
    Heart - Check
    Hands - getting there
    Eyes - getting there

  • Story icons (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kehren77 (814078)

    Shouldn't the /. Bill Gates Borg icon appear on this story?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Surely there's plenty of countries who will fast track med-tech that the FDA always seems to drag their feet on. What's to stop a company from setting up shop on the Mexican border for the latest in treatment?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Maarx (1794262)

      Surely there's plenty of countries who will fast track med-tech that the FDA always seems to drag their feet on. What's to stop a company from setting up shop on the Mexican border for the latest in treatment?

      Pretty much this. [slashdot.org]

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      Why, nothing stops them. It happens all the time.

      And if you want to travel to those countries and receive those treatments, nothing stops you. Assuming, of course, you can afford the trip. And also assuming you can afford the treatment without help from your insurance (which is sure to refuse coverage for such a thing). But then, you have no way to validate the efficacy or safety of the treatment you're going to receive, and basically no recourse if it backfires (up to and including killing you).

      Some pe

  •     Why do I get an uncomfortable feeling about this?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Prologue:
    In the constellation of Cygnus, there lurks a mysterious, invisible force: the black hole of Cygnus X-1....

    Six Stars of the Northern Cross
    In mourning for their sister's loss
    In a final flash of glory
    Nevermore to grace the night...

    1.
    Invisible to telescopic eye
    Infinity, the star that would not die

    All who dare to cross her course
    Are swallowed by her fearsome force

    Through the void
    To be destroyed
    Or is there something more?
    Atomized...at the core?
    Or through the Astral Door?
    To soar...

    2.
    I set a course just e

  • Can anyone say were getting close to what Geordi La Forge had in the last Star Trek: Next Generation movie??
    • by grub (11606)

      Can anyone say were getting close to what Geordi La Forge had in the last Star Trek: Next Generation movie??

      I hope not, I'd look terrible with an afro.
      • by Ilsundal (3288)

        Seems more like the ocular implant used by Seven of Nine. Perhaps this technology can be expanded to use a display rather than a lens so we can have Terminator style vision.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by localman57 (1340533)

      Can anyone say were getting close to what Geordi La Forge had in the last Star Trek: Next Generation movie??

      "were getting close to what Geordi La Forge had in the last Star Trek: Next Generation movie".

      But for the joke to work, you have to think it in Leslie Nielson's voice. It's sort of a "It's the little room at the front of the plane, but that's not important right now" thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mea37 (1201159)

      Well, no, not really. This isn't even remotely the same technology path.

      This involves using fairly conventional optics to make the best use of a person's existing visual capabilities, resulting in better (but still not "perfect") vision for those with certain types of eye damage. The innovation is overcoming the challenges to implant said optics in the eye.

      Geordi's visor would use its own sensors to pull in a much wider spectrum of information than just visible light, bypassing his eyes (i.e. not trying t

      • Well, no, not really. This isn't even remotely the same technology path.

        This involves using fairly conventional optics to make the best use of a person's existing visual capabilities, resulting in better (but still not "perfect") vision for those with certain types of eye damage. The innovation is overcoming the challenges to implant said optics in the eye.

        Geordi's visor would use its own sensors to pull in a much wider spectrum of information than just visible light, bypassing his eyes (i.e. not trying to make use of his existing visual capabilities) to give him superhuman vision. The device would not be implanted in the eye and so would not use the innovations from the telescope.

        The technological overlap is just about zero.

        You must not have followed the movies then. The last two or three movies he had eye implants and not his visor. So the overlap is there it may not be the same thing but its on the same line.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:30PM (#32843038) Homepage Journal

    This implant is a lot better than going blind.

    But really what we want is stemcell therapies that restore the macula to a fully working retina without further complication. Especially if the stemcells come from the patient themself, without requiring a separate donor, or tissue banks.

  • I was hoping this was a treatment for presbyopia. I'd give a lot to be able to see as well as Chuck Yaeger did when he was in his teens.

  • go go gadget eye telescope!

  • "Honey, I think I'm going to bed now. Have you seen my lens cap?"
  • I'd like to know just two teeny things:

    1 - How much $$ for this fantabulous gadget?

    2 - Is it going to be required as part of basic health insurance coverage? (If so, how about a 99% deductible.)

  • Cost (Score:3, Funny)

    by JThundley (631154) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @03:53PM (#32843864) Homepage

    According to this site [teamliquid.net], the implant will cost 100 minerals as well as 100 gas.

  • > The visual field would soon 'look' fairly normal as neural plasticity
    > made the peripheral visual system do the job of the central and integrate
    > that into visual processing. There would be loss of visual and color
    > acuity since the peripheral retina isn't as densely populated, and had
    > very little chromatic visual receptors. Within weeks any differences
    > noted would fade as what's being presented became to seem normal.

    I sincerely doubt that. I can't even get used to the "wide angle len

    • You can't get used to it because you are constantly changing between the two. If this is an implant it will be permanent and their brain will adapt to it. There have been experiments where people have worn lenses which make them see everything upside down and have gotten used to it - so much so that when they take them off everything seems upside down to them.

      Sure it might not be ideal but it's better than not being able to see at all.

      • > You can't get used to it because you are constantly changing between the two.

        I wear glasses virtually all day every day.

        Here is an example that is constant: Vision in the eye that had the retina
        surgically reattached still looks distorted (like looking through textured
        privacy glass) after a year. Theory is that the retina didn't get reattached
        smoothly.

        The upside-down lens experiment sounds interesting. Maybe my brain just
        isn't plastic enough.

        > Sure it might not be ideal but it's better than not bei

  • Jesus cries - really. The state of science reporting is beyond pathetic, it's a damn tragedy. This device isn't implanted into the CORNEA. The cornea is thin. The natural crystalline lens *inside* the eye is removed by the normal method (phaco - ultrasound plus suction) and then this is wedged in with a surgery that will make you pray to whatever ghods you love that you never ever get one of these diseases. My engineers made some of the very first of these devices Way Back When (it worked sorta kinda) and
  • Am I the only one who read the title and thought "Go go gadget eyes!"?
  • I want my eyePhone, dammit.

  • This is not the /. I have grown to know and love...
    Where are all the "And I, for one, welcome our new [insert cleaver word] overlords" jokes!?

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