Continuing to lead the way in medical technology, the ophthalmology department of the Torrevieja Hospital is working on another innovative scheme, one which enables the diagnosis and management of patients with ocular disease glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in Spain.
Although some may find the concept squeamish, others might think it the next stage in becoming like the bionic man or woman, as the medical experts have embedded a microchip into a contact lens which is able to detect small changes in the diameter of the cornea.
As part of the clinical trial, patients have to wear these lenses, which are easily placed in a small home storage device which records fluctuations in eye pressure 24 hours a day, even when sleeping.
Dr. José Isidro Belda, head of the department, explains that “this is a pioneering measurement system that allows professionals to control the pressure of a patient when they are at home, at work or playing sports, which facilitates specialists to assess the effectiveness of certain drugs and the time of day used, morning, afternoon or evening, as well as the most appropriate dose in each case”.
The cutting-edge clinical system, called Sensimed Triggerfish, also allows the lens to adapt to the size of the patient´s cornea, which allows them to continue to perform their daily activities as normal during the monitoring period. The telemetry microchip and an antenna-integrated into the contact lens, transmits the information captured by the sensor wirelessly, and after 24 hours, the user returns to the office with the device where specialists create graph with fluctuation of intraocular pressure in a day.
It is estimated that over one million people over 40 years of age suffer from this eye disease, and nearly 50% do not know they have it, because it produces no symptoms until at its very advanced stage. At first, the painless condition usually affects the peripheral vision, of which we are not conscious, and only perceive the change in central vision when the glaucoma is advanced.
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