Giving sight to the blind

An Israeli microchip will allow blind people to become independent again.

May 12, 2015 13:10
Efi Cohen Arazi

Efi Cohen Arazi. (photo credit: BERNARD DICHEK)

ONE OF Efi Cohen Arazi’s strongest childhood memories is looking after his blind grandmother. “I remember how hard it was for her to be totally dependent on someone else to get her a drink or move around our home,” recalls Cohen Arazi, noting that it was only in his grandmother’s elderly years that she lost her eyesight due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that every year damages the vision of an estimated 200,000 people in the US alone.

Nano Retina, a start-up co-founded by Cohen Arazi in 2009, has developed technology that promises to restore eyesight to AMD and other visually impaired patients. “We expect the first patient to be implanted with our product in 2016,” says Cohen Arazi, noting that the assembly of the product began in early March at a semiconductor manufacturing facility in northern Israel.


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