Having invented a device that lets you see “three times better than 20/20 vision” without wearing any contacts or glasses at all — for an entire lifetime, an optometrist from British Columbia believes he’s created the holy grail of corrective lenses.
Dr. Garth Webb is the founder and CEO of Ocumetics Technology Corp, a company dedicated to eliminating glasses and contact lenses forever. Webb and his team of visual scientists have invented the “Ocumetics Bionic Lens,” which is the product of eight years of research and $3 million in funding, plus a load of internationally filed patents, according to the Canadian Press.
The Ocumetics Bionic Lens looks like a small button, but Webb believes it has the power to revolutionize eye care as we know it.
“Perfect eyesight should be a human right,” Webb told CBC News.
According to Ocumetics’ website, the Bionic Lens is implanted in your eye during an eight-minute “painless procedure.” The operation is reportedly similar to cataract surgery, where the lens inside your eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. It’s an outpatient procedure that doesn’t require any anesthesia or an overnight stay.
The bionic lens is actually folded like a taco and placed in the eye using a syringe filled with a saline solution. Then, in about 10 seconds, the bionic lens unravels over your eye by itself and your sight is “immediately corrected.”
“If you can just barely see the clock at 10 feet, when you get the Bionic Lens, you can see the clock at 30 feet away,” Webb said.
Webb says his bionic lenses give you vision that’s three times better than 20/20 vision, as measured by the Snellen chart for visual acuity. We’ve reached out to Webb to learn more about the visual improvements with regards to accuracy and range.
It’s still unclear how the technology actually works, but Webb says the Bionic Lens is perfectly safe, and it won’t cause any biophysical changes within the eye.
This has other benefits, too. Anyone who gets this bionic lens surgically implanted would never get cataracts, since the eye’s natural lenses, which are prone to decay, would have been replaced with these artificial ones. And this is much safer than laser surgery, which involves burning away healthy corneal tissue and also results in other complications, like problems with glare and trouble driving at night. Webb’s solution has none of these issues; the quality of your vision will always be perfect, and it will not deteriorate over time.
Webb showed off his bionic lens to 14 top ophthalmologists in mid-April during an annual conference dedicated to cataracts and refractive surgery. He said the surgeons were impressed, and some will assist in future clinical trials.
The bionic lens will first be tested on animals and then blind human eyes before Webb seeks regulatory approval in Canada and other various countries.
The first Ocumetics Bionic Lens could be available as soon as 2017, but it will only be an option for people over the age of 25 since eye structures aren’t fully formed until that age.