AUG 18, 2014
The Alpha IMS microchip retinal implant made by Retina Implant AG has been granted NUB innovation status in Germany and will now be reimbursed by Germany's statutory health insurance system.
The German statutory health system, which insures 90 percent of the country’s citizens, has come to an agreement with six German university clinics and leading teaching hospitals to provide appropriate late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients with access to the Alpha IMS microchip.
"Since receiving CE mark of our Alpha IMS microchip, we have been focused on educating and partnering with physicians across the EU. Obtaining this reimbursement was a critical next step as we continue our mission to restore vision to patients with RP," said Walter-G Wrobel, CEO of Retina Implant AG. "It's fitting that Germany be the first country to approve reimbursement for the Alpha IMS since this is where the microchip's journey began nearly 20 years ago. We look forward to working with more countries across the EU to achieve the same goal."
The Alpha IMS device is implanted beneath the retina in the macular region and simulates the functioning nerve cells of the eye. It is designed to restore functional vision to people with RP, enabling patients to recognize facial expressions and to distinguish objects, such as telephones, cups and plates, and decipher signs on doors, as was achieved in many of the 42 patients who have received the implant.