MELBOURNE, Australia, Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Bionic Vision Technologies (BVT) has started work on the next phase of development for its world-leading Australian bionic eye technology thanks to a recent Australian Government grant to refine its vision processing algorithms.
BVT’s bionic eye is designed for people with the inherited retinal disease retinitis pigmentosa for which there is no current cure.
Clinical study data from patients implanted with the device show the prosthesis is safe and gives significant improvements to functional vision and quality of life. Users reported an improved awareness of external objects and surroundings.
The Melbourne-based Australian medical technology start-up received AU$1million from the Medical Research Future Fund’s BioMedTech Horizons 3.0 program in late 2020.
The funds will help finalise development of sophisticated vision processing software which turns images taken by a pair of smart glasses into signals that stimulate the brain to create information about what the user is ‘seeing’.
The new software is a key part of BVT’s next generation device set to be used in a global study aimed at gathering data to support regulatory submissions in major commercial markets. Early studies have confirmed safety and efficacy.
The Australian device has several technological advantages including a unique implant method that allows the device to be upgraded or replaced.
Bionic Vision Technologies CEO Dr. Ash Attia said, “Australia has the capability to lead the world in the development of this new technology that will create high-end research jobs and export opportunities.”
“This important funding support will directly advance a world-leading innovation with global market potential.
“BVT is building the foundations for an exciting new Australian medical technology with the potential to improve the lives of millions worldwide,” Dr Attia said.
BVT’s research and development partners and stakeholders include CSIRO’s Data61, the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Bionics Institute, Tricycle Developments, Cirtec Medical, the Australian National University, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and the University of Melbourne.
The Medical Research Future Fund’s BioMedTech Horizon’s program supports new medical technologies and is focused on digital applications in medical devices and personalised medicine.