Role of Multimedia in Medicine: Study of Visual Prosthesis

  • Parsa Sarosh
  • Shabir A. Parah
  • Rimsha Sarosh


The role of multimedia in the field of medicine is increasing at a tremendous rate. Medical images and videos are used for the documentation and monitoring of progression of diseases as well as the response to treatment strategies. Digital images such as X-RAYS, CT-SCANS and MRI are used for diagnosis of various diseases. With the analysis of these images, the doctor is able to understand the nature and extent of the damage. Although the main use of multimedia in medicine is of diagnostic nature, few applications are therapeutic. The human being is blessed with an impeccable visual system through which he is able to perceive the world. The eye, known as the “organ of sight” forms the window between the external environment and the brain. The mechanism of vision involves the light, which after striking the object enters the eye and stimulates the photoreceptor cells. A complex and poorly understood series of reactions is set into motion, wherein an electrical stimulus is generated and relayed towards the brain. This sequence is the “visual pathway”. However, due to diseases affecting various parts of the visual pathway, there can be a decrease in the perceived light and even partial or total blindness. Some of these diseases have absolutely no cure and the patient is left in despair. These patients are potential candidates for a visual prosthesis. A visual prosthesis is a type of an electronic device which tries to provide vision to those who are partially or totally blind. The process requires continuous capturing of the image frames of a particular scene and then stimulating certain implanted electrodes in accordance with the image being taken. With the efficient real-time processing of the images, the person is able to see a steady view of the external environment. The aim of this work is to provide insight into the various types of visual prosthesis that have been developed. It will also highlight the engineering details and the underlying principle of operation of the only FDA approved retinal implant called ARGUS II. Although there are multiple types of visual prosthetics like the ASR or the Alpha IMS etc, there is only one device THE ARGUS II which is the product of the Second Sight Company that is available to patients for use and is characterized as a humanitarian device. The device is the product of years of scientific research and is very sophisticated, having the latest technology and most efficient components. However, the underlying principle of operation, described by Dr. Mark Humayun with a team of other experts, is the MARC (Multiple artificial retinal chipset) system. It is a system with multiple components that work together synchronously to provide useful vision to patients. The MARC system has internal and external components and an electrode array placed onto the retinal surface which makes it an epi-retinal implant. This chapter mainly describes the working of an epi-retinal implant like ARGUS II and how it is used to provide functional vision to patients.


Human eye Retina Retinal diseases Visual prosthesis MARC 3 ARGUS II 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parsa Sarosh
    • 1
  • Shabir A. Parah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rimsha Sarosh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electronics and Instrumentation TechnologyUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyGovernment Medical College (GMC)SrinagarIndia

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