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World Glaucoma Week 2016 & New Technology

29th February 2016

smart contact lens - glaucoma research

In the run up to World Glaucoma Week 2016, taking place next week, we wanted to share the latest developments and research of the condition which could pave the way for future treatment. As the second leading cause of blindness in the world, innovative research is essential to further ways to prevent, treat and manage glaucoma.

The monitoring of patients with glaucoma is crucial to keep track of the condition as it progresses, however current testing does have its limits. Currently, eye doctors will regularly assess patients through a comprehensive eye examination; however this only provides a small snapshot of information from a single point in time. A constant monitor would be much more effective in accurately monitoring eye pressure which is what Dr. C. Gustavo De Moraes, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in New York, has now developed.

The monitoring system, named ‘Sensimed Triggerfish’ has been developed in the form of a smart contact lens which has a built in sensor to monitor and detect changes and then report them to a portable recorder worn by the patient, which is then sent to their doctor. This technology is particularly useful for 24hour monitoring as eye pressure normally builds up during the night. Test results on patients who have worn the technology has unveiled that patients who reported highest peaks in pressure overnight were the ones who experienced faster progression of glaucoma. This information would not have been measurable with single point examinations showing this technology’s value in providing such information. Constant monitoring will also help doctors test the results of new medication more effectively.

Dr. De Moraes adds: “What we see in these measurements is a signature that indicates which glaucoma patients will get worse and which are relatively stable, which you can’t do with a one-time eye pressure measurement.
This could be very useful if you want to know whether a new medication is working for a patient. You can see how their eye is reacting to the therapy in a much more meaningful way.

The Sensimed Triggerfish has already been approved for use in many European countries, including the UK, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.

For more information on Glaucoma, read our fast facts blogs.

Source: Medical News Today

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