Triggerfish smart contact lens all set to tackle glaucoma

Google is not alone in its quest to connect the eye
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Swiss startup Sensimed has been given the green light by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for its smart contact lens that aims to tackle glaucoma, a common cause for blindness.

The smart doctor's aid, which is designed to be used by adults 22 years or older, uses a soft silicone contact lens that's embedded with a microsensor. It can be worn for 24 hours, so that means you can sleep with them as well.

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When worn the Triggerfish can measure intraocular pressure changes (IOP) with data transmitted wirelessly to an adhesive antenna worn around the eye. That information is sent to a portable data recorder which can then be sent over Bluetooth to your doctor's computer.

This should help identify when pressure elevates, which is linked to optic nerve damage and is a characteristic of glaucoma. A decision can then be made on the best time of the day to measure that intraocular pressure and can hopefully help prevent further damage.

Sensimed are of course not the only company seeking to smarten up the eye. Google has been developing its own life-changing smart contact lens aimed at diabetics to help detect and monitor blood glucose levels.

Google struck a deal with drug maker Novartis in 2014 and is planning to start human tests this year. Unlike the Triggerfish lens though, Google hasn't been given the thumbs up by the FDA just yet. Discussions with the federal agency have already taken place though, back when Google first started working on the smart eye tech.

There's no news when Sensimed's smart contact lens will be in the hands of doctors, but when it does, it should signal yet another major breakthrough for wearable tech.

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Michael Sawh

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Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.


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