Smart contacts green-lighted for human tests. Ready or not, here come smart contacts. Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis publicly revealed plans to roll out human trials of its prototype smart contact lens technology in 2016, according to a September 5, 2015 Reuters report.
This initial prototype smart lens is purportedly designed to help with presbyopia, though the company eyes other applications, as well.
In July 2014, Novartis penned a collaborative agreement with Google, Inc., to bring the tech giant's blood-glucose monitoring smart lenses to market. The technology could redefine the way patients with diabetes track their glucose levels, offering a painless, more continual tracking method versus the tried-and-true finger-stick blood test.
Although Google provided a peek at how its proposed smart lenses would work—using miniaturized sensors imbedded in the hydrogel lens to collect tear fluid and transmit data to a handheld monitor—Novartis has not revealed designs for its accommodative vision correction smart lenses.
Contact lenses of the future, today, turning science fiction into science fact, smart contact lenses look to be the latest in a line of wearable technology that marries digital connectivity with bio-sensing capabilities to clue in consumers about their personal health and wellbeing.
Currently, about 1 in 10 U.S. adults have diabetes, a number projected to grow to 1 in 3 by 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stay tuned to Adlington Eye Center for the latest information on these lenses as it becomes available.