Gennaris Bionic Eye

Creating prototype headgear designs for MVG’s Gennaris bionic vision system.

Design Health Collab has worked with Monash Vision Group (MVG) – an interdisciplinary team of engineering, medical and science researchers, The Alfred hospital, miniFAB and Grey Innovation – to create prototype headgear designs for MVG’s Gennaris bionic vision system. The headgear encapsulates MVG’s wireless transmission technology, which sends data to up to 10 implants that each stimulate 43 points of the human visual cortex. Being direct to the cortex, MVG’s technology is hopes to assist the majority of people who have total blindness.

Design Health Collab has assisted in the physical design of the headgear for this device. The design process has placed great emphasis on biomechanical and comfort factors as well as stability and precision positioning of the transmitter coil over the implant site. The aim for design is to humanise complex technology by creating a normalised aesthetic where recipients can feel confident and proud to wear the device. This project has shown the impact that design can have in supporting the research and development of advanced medical devices within the University. Using design to enhance and support communication with the public has raised awareness of the excellent work done by the MVG team, helping to secure external funding. Additionally, use of co-design has supported an ongoing engagement with vision impaired people. This has furthered the representation of these users within the research and development process, leading to a more comfortable, usable, and expressive device.