I’ve been very upbeat on the power of creativity & innovation, within the Free Market System, to improve the lives of Americans greatly, an even people world-wide. And I tend to be highly critical of regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, which hold back creativity & innovation and often exist not to regulate their industries but to extend protective benefits to them.
A company called Second Sight is about to go public. Billionaire Alfred Mann has put his own money on the line, in the hope of finding ways to let blind people see, deaf people hear, and lame people walk.
He provided initial funding and the vision for Second Sight, and it appears to be paying off for patients who are blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa. One patient, blind for a generation, now can see crude images.
The project, started in 1998, didn’t get the go ahead from the FDA to use in humans until last year, though it already had been available in Europe. How long will we allow the FDA’s incompetence to harm Americans?
Please read: “Blind woman sees again thanks to Second Sight technology”
Mann’s efforts also are helping people walk. The recently public company, called ReWalk, makes an electromechanical exoskeleton with push button controls run from a battery pack. So far it’s the only FDA approved product of its kind (FDA foot draggers! – no pun intended), although there are a few competitors gearing up.
Please read: “Paralyzed Marine walks thanks to ReWalk technology”
Obviously, one of Mann’s goals is to make a profit. Good for him! His being willing to risk his own money to provide a “trickle down” benefit to all Americans is what makes the Free Market so much superior to government activities. Given the choice, I’ll side with the private, productive sector of our Economy every time.
I mentioned Mann’s vision to help the deaf to hear. I’m aware of a private foundation in Minneapolis, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which has used state of the art implants to restore hearing.