"The operation on the eye took somewhat more than three hours, and proceeded without complications”, reported Susanne Binder, Head of the Ophthalmological Department of the Rudolf Foundation Hospital of the Vienna Hospital Association. She operated on the blind person together with a six-person team. “Our patient has a long learning process ahead of her as well as adjustments to the system software”.
In simple terms, the bionic eye functions as follows: a video camera is built into specially designed glasses. The photos are transmitted to a chip mounted onto the retina. “This chip stimulates the remaining intact nerve cells in the inner retinal layer of the eye, which then conveys the stimuli to the brain via the optic nerve”, Binder explained.
The objective is to enable patients to recognize shadows, people silhouettes, curbstones etc. so that they can more effectively orient themselves and move outside of their customary environment. Only people who grew up having vision but who suffered from a degeneration of the outer retinal layer and became blind are suited for such an operation.