Second Sight Medical Products is a developer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics that can create an artificial form of useful vision in individuals with vision loss. They have recently announced that the FDA has approved of their Argus 2s Retinal Prosthesis System which is a redesigned set of external hardware. This technology includes glasses and a video processing unit that is used in combination with their previously implanted Argus II system. This is intended to assist individuals with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Electrodes are implanted on the surface of the retina. The camera on the patient’s glasses will take images and turn them into electrical pulses that will then be transmitted wirelessly to electrodes implanted on the surface of the retina. These electrical pulses will stimulate the remaining retina cells that work in individuals with RP and build perception patterns of light in the brain. The patient will need to learn how to interpret these patterns.
What this means for Usher syndrome: As the loss of vision in people with Usher syndrome is caused by RP, this is a visual prosthetic that can be used as a therapy for individuals with USH. This is an improvement to a previous prosthetic Second Sight Medical Products had released, demonstrating that visual aids are constantly improving and people with vision loss can have hope of better visual aids.