An 88 years old woman from East London has received a pioneering eye implant to help partially restore of her deteriorating vision.

Surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital involves inserting a 2mm -wide microchip under its retina by creating a ‘trap door’ where the chip is located.

Special glasses, which contain a camera connected to a small computer mounted on a belt, allow you to see.

Patients experience the most common form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the implant offers hope of partially restored vision for those with geographic atrophy (GA).

The condition is progressive and there is currently no treatment. About 12% of those over the age of 80 will be affected by dry AMD, while GA affects 6.7% of those over 80s.

Once the microchip has been implanted under a patient’s retina, it captures the visual scene projected by the glasses and sends it to a computer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms process this and instruct the glasses on what to focus on. The glasses then project the image as an infrared beam through the eye and into the chip, and convert it into an electrical signal that goes “into the brain, where it is interpreted as if it were natural vision”.

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