Alcon and Google have entered into an agreement to collaborate on its “smart lens” technology for all ocular medical uses. Alcon’s parent company Novartis says that the two main interests for the smart lens are accommodative vision correction for presbyopes and glucose monitoring of the tear fluid for people with diabetes.

However, wary investors point out that while the technology may be promising, the research just isn’t there yet. For instance, although some research has shown a correlation between glucose levels in blood and tears, this link has not been thoroughly established and additional clinical studies are needed to confirm it.

An experimental drug for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA) has restored visual acuity or visual field function in 11 of 14 patients in a early clinical trial. For some study participants, vision improvements for a seven-day course of the drug were sustained for two years. The drug, oral 9-cis-retinyl acetate, replaces a retinoid that is missing in people with RP and LCA; the missing retinoid is caused by mutations in the genes RPE65 or LRAT. Results of the trial were published online in The Lancet.

American Optometric Association
has named Jon Hymes as its executive director. Mr. Hymes has been the interim executive director since February, and before that managed the AOA’s Washington, DC office. Mr. Hymes appointed Renee Brauns, the AOA’s chief operating officer, to the newly created position of associate executive director.