Second Sight Reports Record Number of Argus II Implants in Q4-2017, First Orion Implant in Human

February 9, 2018: By Jon Swedien

Second SightSecond Sight announced Feb. 5 that surgeons implanted 30 Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Systems worldwide in Q4-2017.

The total sets a quarterly record and is a more than three-fold increase over the seven Argus II systems implanted in Q4-2016.

For the full year, Second Sight reported 75 Argus II implantations, a 79 percent increase over 42 implantations in 2016.

The Argus II converts images captured by a miniature video camera mounted on a patient’s glasses into a series of small electrical pulses. It is designed to induce visual perception in individuals with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa.

The Argus II had a Medicare reimbursement rate of $150 thousand in 2017, a sharp increase from $95 thousand in 2016.

The 2018 rate is $122,500.

Orion’s First Human Patient

The company also reported Feb. 5 that Nader Pouratian, MD, PhD, implanted the first human patient with the Orion Cortical Visual Prosthesis System.

The Orion works similarly to the Argus II, though it is implanted on the surface of the visual cortex.

Second Sight said a cortical prosthesis system, which bypasses the retina and optic nerve and directly stimulates the visual cortex, has the potential to restore useful vision to patients blinded due to many reasons, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or forms of cancer and trauma.

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