With smart watches monitoring sleep and smart sneakers counting steps, it was only a matter of time before contact lenses got smart. In fact, lenses that measure and record intraocular pressure (IOP) data have been in the works for some time. A new study shows they’re one step closer to reaching your patients.

According to an investigation published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, a new smart lens, which employs a noninvasive sensor, can reliably measure IOP changes. The team looked at its use in enucleated pig eyes. The experiment showed a consistent linear responsiveness to induced changes—both increases and decreases—in IOP.

The potential of IOP-measuring contact lenses could change how doctors gather IOP data. Rather than a extrapolating through use of tonometry readings, which can fluctuate throughout the day and even during office visits, the lens aims to provide a continuous stream of data, offering the opportunity to establish a true baseline as well as peak pressures.

Campigotto A, Leahy S, Zhao G, et al. Non-invasive intraocular pressure monitoring with contact lenses. Br J Ophthalmol. July 2, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].