Wearable tech to improve eye health – study

Intuitive portable device with a smart camera CREDIT: OrCam

Intuitive portable device with a smart camera CREDIT: OrCam

It is indeed alarming to note that around 2.2 million Americans are fighting a serious eye disease called glaucoma. Thus a routine eye checkup has become mandatory for most. What an eye specialist does is keep track of internal optic pressure (IOP) and suggest remedies accordingly. Till date, keeping IOP on check is the only treatment available for glaucoma.

Good news is that Stanford scientists have come up with a new implant which would enable the patient to take daily or hourly reading of eye pressure, right from the comfort of his home. This tiny device is designed such that it can be fitted inside a standard intraocular lens prosthetic, which most glaucoma patients have after undergoing the cataract surgery. However, scientists are trying to find out ways of implanting the device on its own. What is even more significant is that this implant in no way distorts vision!

Stephen Quake, the mastermind behind this unique experiment is highly optimistic about the eye implant playing a crucial role in staving off blindness. As patients will be able to monitor the IOP regularly this means things will remain under control and blindness won’t strike suddenly! The eye implant developed at Stanford will open up new vistas for many more wearable techs related to eye care. Few other very promising research works are also going on right now, which are aimed at correcting vision without eye surgery.

Scientists at the University of California Berkeley and MIT are developing a new technology which would enable automatic correction of people’s vision defects without glasses. You just need to plug your glasses prescription into the new software. The system itself will calculate the best way to display the image without making it appear blurry.

This is done by basically adjusting light from each pixel on a device. Then the light is passed through a tiny mesh attached to the computer monitor or phone screen. Thus the system personalizes the image so that it appears crystal clear! This wearable tech implies no more struggling to find your glasses when the Smartphone buzzes at midnight!

If you are hell bent on wearing glasses only to correct vision, then the Smart glass sector won’t disappoint you too! While Google has already turned head with its Smart glass offering, right now many new entrants are coming up with exclusively designed eyeglasses which are expected to rule the eye care segment in near future.

Orcam, founded in 2010, has come up with a pair of glasses with smart camera mounted on the frames. The camera is special in that it sees text, recognizes objects and yes, whispers in your ear too! The eyeglass is intelligent enough to understand if the wearer wants to read or is trying to recognize a product or find an item.

Good sign that researchers are trying to connect eye health with wearable tech. However, a cautious approach has to be adopted in this regard. Expectations should be set carefully. Each venture is needed to be tested thoroughly before making it commercially available.

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