ATLANTA — A presenter at SECO said that emerging contact lens technology could release medication or assist patients with low vision.
“With smart contact lens technology, the global market is going to reach $7.2 billion by the year 2023,” Kris Kerestan Garbig, OD, with Garbig Family Eye Care in Wilder, Ky., said during her presentation. “Some of the applications for smart contact lens are biomedical applications for systemic help ...[to] accurately identify eye health issues and have the potential to treat eye health issues.”
Garbig noted that there are two types of smart contact lenses being researched, one that can be inserted and removed by the user and another, also known as a bionic lens, that is surgically inserted.
“One of the selling points of the bionic lens is three-times-better vision than 20/20. If we see this in our lifetime, it would be simply amazing,” she said.
One specific technology Garbig covered was the FDA-approved and European Committee-marked ocular monitoring system Sensimed Triggerfish (Sensimed SA), a smart contact lens that continuously monitors IOP during a 24-hour period. If IOP increases, the device sends a signal to an offsite location and then slowly releases medication.
She also discussed several other drug-dispensing contact lenses at various stages of development, from preclinical to pending approval for market release. While some technology is still in its earliest days, Garbig emphasized the exciting potential for future progression and development.
Another area of interest for smart contact lenses is vision enhancement. This potential technology could aid patients with low vision, adjust focus as easily as blinking and provide autofocusing to correct presbyopia.
Garbig also discussed products available to clinicians.
MiSight lenses (CooperVision) are FDA-approved to slow myopia progression in children, she said. The Oasys Transitions (Acuvue) lenses filter blue light and UV, which are a “game changer in the sports industry” for athletes spending a lot of time outside. – by Talitha Bennett
Reference: Garbig KK. Emerging contact lens technology. Presented at: SECO; March 4-10, 2020; Atlanta, Ga.
Disclosure: Garbig reports she is a speaker for and consultant to Alcon and Shire.