Researchers Focus on mHealth Applications for Smart Contact Lenses

Their value in diabetes management may be questioned, but smart contact lenses are now being developed with mHealth applications that include medication management and adherence.

By Eric Wicklund
  – The latest application of mHealth for medication management and adherence comes from Boston, where a team of Harvard Medical School researchers has created smart-enabled contact lenses that can deliver times medications to the eyes.

The high-tech contact lenses developed by Theraoptix are actually two pair of lenses sandwiched together, with a thin polymer film in between that dispenses medications as directed. They’re designed to be worn for as long as two weeks, and to aid in treatment after surgery and for eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion.
“No eye drops, no injections — just one lens,” Lokendra Bengani, a post-Doctoral student at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Schepens Eye Research Institute and Theraoptix member, said during the group’s presentation at the MIT Sloan Healthcare Innovation completion.
Theraoptix won the competition, sponsored by Optum Health, beating out seven other teams for the $25,000 prize.
They’re not the only ones who see contact lenses as an mHealth tool for drug delivery. Several years ago Google began highly secretive work on contact lenses that could measure blood glucose levels through the tears of a diabetic user; in 2014, the company announced a partnership with Novartis to extend that research to include not only diabetes but other eye issues.
“The promise here is the holy grail of vision care, to be able to replicate the natural functioning of the eye,” Novartis CEO Joseph JIminez told Bloomberg in a 2014 interview. “Think about a contact lens that could help the eye autofocus on that newspaper and then when you look up it would autofocus in the distance.”…..
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Source: mHealth Intelligence
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