A new “smart” contact lens has been shown to detect accurately intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients. This technology may be useful for predicting which patients are deteriorating rapidly. Their treatment plan can be modified accordingly to help preserve more vision.
This study used the Sensimed Triggerfish® contact lens system. Columbia University Medical Center researchers found that specific electrical signals from the “smart” contact lenses correlated with the rate of the disease’s progression. They recorded data for 24 hours with 40 patients who were being treated for glaucoma. Half of the patients had had gradual deterioration from glaucoma over the past two years; half were deteriorating rapidly. The lenses had a sensor that detected changes in the curvature of the lens. This indicated intraocular pressure.
The researchers found that the patients with faster progression of the disease had steeper spikes during the night while sleeping, and more peaks than the slower-progression patients. Wearable technology such as contact lenses could give doctors a large amount of useful data about a patient. Collecting and analyzing the data can lead to insights into patient health outside of office visits and testing labs.
Study: “Visual Field Change and 24-Hour IOP-Related Profile with a Contact Lens Sensor in Treated Glaucoma Patients,” De Moraes et al. Ophthalmology, Feb. 2016. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.11.020.