Will Electronic Contact Lenses Revolutionize Ophthalmology?
Posted Sep 01 2013 10:06pm
Whenever the subject of electronic contacts is brought up, people immediately think about cyborgs and how you could use technology for gadget entertainment purposes. Images of the current Google Glass project might jump into your head when you imagine electronic contacts, as if these are just like the glasses but another step into the future. But the truth is, electronic contacts have far more value than simply as an entertainment gadget. The technology could improve people’s health and even save lives.
Many people are talking about new soft contact lenses with electronic gear in them as “Google Glass without the glasses.” The contacts would have light-emitting diodes in them. Research is already being done about the possible medical benefits of these devices. Basically, it would allow users to see information in their field of vision without having to put on bulky glasses. But it would also do more.
Researchers say that the medical possibilities of such technology are wide-ranging. For example, it’s possible that grapheme-nanowire conductors, if installed in contacts, could periodically take tiny samples of the tear film in someone’s eye and use this to gain a massive amount of up-to-date medical information about an individual by the minute. By having constant monitoring, it would be possible tell almost right away whether someone is having any eye problems.
It’s conceivable that this could be monitored by a third partysome sort of service that keeps their eyes on your eye, so to speak. You might even be able to eventually get it as an app for your phone so that you can get a warning if there’s a problem. This is how the future of ophthalmology might look. This is because, even beyond monitoring passively, active monitoring would become a lot easier as well.
Eye doctors could easily get information about your eyes without you ever needing to even go into the doctor. The doctor could alert you when you need an appointment, and they would already have all of the information they need about your eyes. These days a lot of people have upgraded to ordering lenses online , and this system could potentially improve even on that by having lenses shipped to you when you need them without you ever needing to ask.
And more than that, eye exams may become totally unnecessary as well. The data streamed to and from your eyes could be recorded by a professional, who could then just tell you what prescription you need without having to go through tedious eye exams that ask “is this better, or is that better?” over and over. Conditions like conjunctivitis could be caught early without the need for puffs of air. Basically, your eye will be holding a sort of appointment of its own with your eye doctor at all times, without the need for you to actually come in and take time out of your day.