Pea-Sized Telescope Gives Eyesight To The Blind

By Abigail Klein Leichman for israel21c January 13, 2011 Comments

A tiny telescope implant developed in Israel to improve vision in patients with end-stage Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) made Popular Science magazine’s annual list of 100 “Best of What’s New” innovations this month.

Israel’s VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies implantable pea-sized telescope received approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in July for use in a new trademarked patient care program, CentraSight, for patients with visual impairment in both eyes due to untreatable advanced AMD. This retina condition is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly in developed countries.

The first and only treatment for end-stage AMD, VisionCare’s implant is the third-generation version of a device invented in the late 1990s by the company’s Israeli founders, Dr. Isaac Lipshitz and Yossi Gross. The firm is headquartered in California and maintains an R&D, manufacturing and quality assurance facility in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv.

“This technology holds significant promise for improving vision and quality of life for individuals with end-stage AMD,” Eli Aharoni tells ISRAEL21c. Aharoni is general manager and vice president of R&D, having joined VisionCare at its inception after heading up one of the Israel military industry’s leading R&D centers. “The new device provides a practical solution to a common problem which currently has no other surgical alternative.”

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Photo courtesy Visioncare

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