'Smart' Contact Lenses Might Also Monitor Eye Health
TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019
Eye doctors may someday use "smart" contact lenses to track patients' eye health, early research suggests.
A team of scientists in South Korea has packed incredibly small electronic circuitry, batteries and antennae into a soft contact lens. The goal: to monitor eyes for signs of vision trouble or help deliver medicinal eye treatments.
In what's called a "proof of concept" study, the researchers tested their experimental prototype on rabbits and one human.
The "smart contact lens is meant to correct vision and drive electronic devices," explained study author Sang-Young Lee.
In theory, such devices could continuously screen eye fluids for telltale signs of early eye disease, such as glaucoma, or illnesses such as diabetes, said Lee, a professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.
Lee said the smart lens was crafted to be as small, soft and flexible as typical soft contacts without triggering eye irritation, heat discomfort or any reduction in field of view.