MAR 15, 2016 12:25 PM PDT

Approved ‘Smart' Lenses for The Treatment of Glaucoma

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
Wearable technologies are getting smarter everyday, incorporating biometrics about our bodies in new and unexpected ways. One such new set of devices are contact lenses that can accurately track and measure intraocular pressure, allowing doctors more precision in assessing risks for diseases like glaucoma. These ‘smart’ contact lenses were recently approved by the FDA.
 
FDA approves ‘smart' contact lenses

Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) can damage the optic nerve and progressively higher IOP is a potential sign for glaucoma, a common cause of blindness. Optometrists can measure IOP and track the progression of the disease, but the current measurement techniques can be unreliable, as IOP fluctuates during the day.
 
The new smart contacts eliminates the guesswork out of when to measure IOP, as it allows unprecedented 24-hour monitoring of IOP changes in the patient’s eyes. Produced by the Swiss startup Sensimed, the product, called Triggerfish, gained a nod from the FDA, who deemed it a low to moderate risk medical device for which there are no other equivalent comparisons.
 
"The Triggerfish gives the clinician 24-hour continuous monitoring of changes in IOP patterns that otherwise could not be obtained," said William Maisel, acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "This information can help determine the most critical time of day for the clinician to measure the patient's IOP."
 
The system consists of a one-time use soft silicone contact lens that that detects tiny changes in an eye’s volume for 24 hours. It also includes an adhesive antenna that’s worn around the eye, and functions to transmit data to a recorder worn around the neck. The recorder can then wirelessly transfer data to a health provider’s system, allowing controlled and continuous monitoring.
 
As IOP changes throughout the day with various daily activities, an eye exam that measures the pressure once could be inaccurate. With the Triggerfish system, doctors can make more accurate IOP measures that reflect a patient’s risks for glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible vision loss. It is hoped that more accurate IOP measurements will facilitate better diagnosis and treatment for patients at risk for developing glaucoma. 
 
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUN 20, 2022
Cancer
Uterine Cancer Mortality is on the Rise
JUN 20, 2022
Uterine Cancer Mortality is on the Rise
Uterine cancer develops when cells in the inner lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, undergo uncontrolled and ...
JUL 15, 2022
Coronavirus
The "Worst Version" of COVID-19 is Here
JUL 15, 2022
The "Worst Version" of COVID-19 is Here
Variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have been continuously emerging since the start of the pandemic. ...
AUG 02, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
CRISPR Technology Breaks New Ground with Edits to Gene that Regulates Cholesterol
AUG 02, 2022
CRISPR Technology Breaks New Ground with Edits to Gene that Regulates Cholesterol
In 2013, scientists described a method for editing the genome of eukaryotic cells (such at those found in humans) using ...
JUL 21, 2022
Immunology
For the First Time, Microscopy Catches Antibodies Attacking a Receptor
JUL 21, 2022
For the First Time, Microscopy Catches Antibodies Attacking a Receptor
Using cryo-electron microscopy, researchers captured images of a molecule called an autoantibody as it attached to a rec ...
JUL 31, 2022
Technology
Sticker Worn on the Skin Produces Continuous Ultrasound Images
JUL 31, 2022
Sticker Worn on the Skin Produces Continuous Ultrasound Images
Ultrasound technology has been a revolutionary tool used to diagnose conditions and get a better understanding of what&r ...
AUG 04, 2022
Cancer
Fiber in Green Bananas Protects from Some Cancers
AUG 04, 2022
Fiber in Green Bananas Protects from Some Cancers
Starch, a natural, sugar-containing component in many green plants, is present in high concentrations in foods such as p ...
Loading Comments...