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'Bionic Eye' Treatment Paving the Way for Artificial Sight

PSSAG will make a recommendation to UK Ministers, who will then need to consider the recommendations and consult on them with NHS England. If the treatment is included in the specialised services definition, it will be commissioned by NHS England rather than individual Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). In this case, NHS England will develop a service specification and agree on a process for selecting providers. NHS England will be considering a number of proposals for new services and these will be prioritised at a meeting of NHS England’s Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) later in the year. Robert Greenberg, MD PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer at Second Sight, says: “We very much hope that patients in England will soon be able to experience the life changing benefits from our prosthesis already enjoyed by RP patients elsewhere in Europe and in the USA. The UK has been instrumental in the clinical research of the Argus II.” “The Argus II has been available and reimbursed for patients in Germany and Italy for the past two years, and has just become reimbursed for patients in the

USA. The reimbursement approval for Argus II proves how important this technology is for the patients affected with blindness from the untreatable orphan disease - retinitis pigmentosa.”

LIFE-CHANGING RESULTS In 2009 Keith Hayman was one of the first patients in the UK to receive an Argus II Retinal implant at Manchester Royal Eye hospital, the procedure undertaken by Professor Paulo Stanga, was conducted as part of a clinical trial system, due to the lack of current NHS funding for the technology. Keith had, prior to the procedure, been totally blind owing to inherited RP, his original diagnosis being made when he was in his twenties. He was registered blind in 1981. Keith says, “I was blind for 30 years and got no real help – RP was a thing that couldn’t be cured.” “The Argus II implant is life changing, uplifting, an absolutely wonderful invention. It stops you feeling in the dark, you do suddenly realise there is a whole world around you. I get a lump in my throat just talking about what that means to me–to see the world around you, it helps you to come out of yourself, and to communicate with other

people who can see. Otherwise you can become very immersed in your own world of blindness, that is not good for your health or your relationships.” “The first thing I really remember seeing when my Argus II implant was switched on in October of that year, was that we went to a bonfire night party with the grandchildren on November 5, and I was more excited than the kids. When they let the fireworks off I could see flashing lights and rockets and big fireworks going off in the night sky – it’s the first thing I had seen for 25 years. It was a new world. It was wonderful. I had a few tears that day.” “Having this implant is simply the difference between sitting in the dark and having the light on. When I go out now, I can discern that there are people around me - you know there’s somebody there – so you can talk with them. Otherwise you’d be totally isolated because you wouldn’t want to start talking to yourself.” “What you actually see is a series of flashes – which you can see is not the shape of objects, but you can learn to discern what the flash actually is – it’s like standing in a pitch dark street and Continued on page 27

The Journal of mHealth

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The Journal of mHealth Vol 1 Issue 2 (Apr 2014)  

In this issue we aim to bring you an in-depth analysis of the scope of mHealth, to consider the wide variety of topics and technologies that...

The Journal of mHealth Vol 1 Issue 2 (Apr 2014)  

In this issue we aim to bring you an in-depth analysis of the scope of mHealth, to consider the wide variety of topics and technologies that...

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