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Research Letter
January 2014

Retinal Implants: Analysis of the News Media Perspective

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Ophthalmology, VA Medical Center, and Division of Ophthalmology, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
  • 3Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology and Cell Biology, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(1):119-120. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.5356

Retinal implants offer an innovative solution to restoring sight to those with severe vision loss. Although research is still in its infancy, developing a retinal prosthesis is possible given advances in microelectronic technology. The complexity of the bioengineering task and the proprietary nature of the research, however, make assessment of progress challenging even for medical professionals. The public acquires information about emerging retinal prostheses through mass media, but journalists may not be fully qualified to understand and disseminate information about this technically sophisticated research.1 We investigated the quality of news reports of retinal implants from 3 major news sources in the United States (television, newspaper, and Internet) and describe our findings as the first generation of devices become commercially available.2