An update on the Second Sight Medical Products (NASDAQ:EYES) saga comes to us by way of IEEE Spectrum, offering a cautionary tale for the developers of cutting-edge implants and the patients who place their faith in them.
Though it won FDA approval last year for its bionic system to restore some level of vision for blind people, the company laid off most of its employees in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those workers included support staff for the patients who needed updates, repairs and other assistance with their implants, some of which unexpectedly and suddenly went dark.
IEEE Spectrum spoke with those patients about what it was like to learn they could once again lose one of their senses, the exact moments that their devices stopped working and whether they would do it over again.
For medical device developers, it’s a case study in the importance of responsibility, trust and transparency among those who rely on the technology — and a reminder to weigh the inherent risk of innovation against the upside.
As for Second Sight, its deal with Nano Precision Medical is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2022. NPM co-founder, CEO and Chair Adam Mendelsohn, who will lead the combined companies, said he looks forward to the “continued exploration of [Second Sight’s] visual prosthesis business opportunity.”