Smartlens: Smart Contact Lens for Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma
Savas Komban, Co-Founder & CEO
Known as the ‘sneak thief of sight,’ glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness across the world. Today, over three million people in the U.S. alone are known to be suffering from glaucoma, and this number is only projected to rise to an estimated 80 million worldwide by 2020, reports the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Alarmingly, 50 percent of glaucoma patients go undiagnosed because the symptoms are overlooked until the disease progresses to a critical stage. While there are a number of underlying aspects that trigger the disease, intraocular pressure (IOP) remains the primary and only modifiable risk factor of glaucoma. By reducing IOP with drugs, doctors can slow down or prevent the progression of glaucoma. However, the limitation here is, the doctors only have the knowledge of their patients’ IOP levels during hospital visits. They have no clear idea of the ebb and flow of the eye pressure level throughout the day. To study the degree of the disease and better estimate the risk of progression, ophthalmologists need to have more than a single snapshot in time. This is where Smartlens, a clinical stage medical technology company’s innovative, proprietary solution is primed to make a difference.
Established at Stanford University, Smartlens has developed a first-of-its-kind disposable, electronics-free soft contact lens that can measure eye pressure and its fluctuations throughout the day, giving doctors and patients a better tool for glaucoma diagnosis and management. Smartlens’ non-invasive soft contact lens has a biocompatible sensor that constantly monitors and responds to changes in the eye pressure of the person wearing it. Patients simply have to take a selfie of their eye using their smartphone while wearing the lens.
The company’s imaging application, installed on the users’ smartphone, securely uploads the image to Smartlens’ cloud platform that analyzes the selfie image and comes up with IOP measurements. The physicians can access these measurements on their devices to monitor peaks in patients’ eye pressure, which can vary throughout the day. This helps them provide the treatment by optimizing the type, dosage, and timing of glaucoma medications to better control IOP of the patients. As the platform offers individual IOP measurements of patients, the physicians can deliver personalized glaucoma treatments to them. Besides, the platform’s capability to enable physicians to regularly monitor patients’ IOP variations helps them provide timely interventions, which motivates patients to comply with their treatment regimes. “Our platform’s seamless measurement capabilities drive improvement in treatment efficacy, reduce treatment cost, and enhance the medical community’s understanding of the relationship between eye pressure, Glaucoma and several other factors for better patient outcomes,” says Savas Komban, Co-Founder and CEO, Smartlens.
Smartlens’ product is developed with an aim to help people use it anywhere, anytime, and in a convenient and affordable way. As a result, it plays an important role in limiting the high volume of undiagnosed glaucoma population. It also proves useful in the detection of early-stage glaucoma and helps patients from turning blind. “With glaucoma becoming more common than ever, our product sits at the intersection of digital health, personalized medicine, and preventive healthcare,” remarks Komban.
While Smartlens’ revolutionary product is yet to be commercialized, it is already making great strides in tests, providing accurate results. Currently, the firm is working on testing the safety and durability aspects of its offering, in an effort to fast track the product launch. Komban also reveals that, in the future, the company plans on making the IOP data available to patients via smartphone-based health apps, enabling them to interpret the data easily. “At Smartlens, we envision a world where Glaucoma can’t rob people of their vision and quality of life. And, we are working toward realizing it,” concludes Komban.
Description A clinical stage medical technology company, Smartlens has developed a first-of-its-kind disposable, electronics-free and ultra-sensitive soft contact lens that measures eye pressure and its fluctuations throughout the day, giving doctors and patients a better tool for glaucoma diagnosis and management. Smartlens' non-invasive soft contact lens has a biocompatible sensor that constantly monitors and responds to changes in the eye pressure of the person wearing it. Patients simply have to take a selfie of their eye using their smartphone while wearing the lens. While Smartlens’ revolutionary product is yet to be commercialized, it is already making great strides in tests, providing accurate results
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