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    In the pipeline: What’s new and what’s coming in optometry technology

    Washington, DC—Keeping patients informed on the latest procedures and equipment available to treat their disorders is half the battle, says Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, at American Optometric Association’s Optometry’s Meeting.

    “If you can answer all of your patients’ questions, then there is no reason to go anywhere else,” says Karpecki. “Some 70 percent of all patients get on the Internet before seeing their OD.”

    Optometry has the technology to change lives, and Karpecki says it’s time to start using it.

    Here are some of the newest innovation coming down the optometry pipeline.

    Stem cell technologies

    Limbal stem cell deficiency is seen in:

    • Persistent epithelial defects

    • Corneal scarring and ulceration

    • Conjuctivalization of the cornea

    • Severe vision loss

    • Chronic pain

    • Keratoplasty failure

    ReNeuron cryopreserved formulation is the latest in retinal stem cell therapy. It was approved by the FDA as a treatment for retinal cell therapy in June 2017.

    Another option is stem cell-coated contact lenses. These lenses are loaded with stem cells and could help naturally repair or retain sight, says Dr. Karpecki.

    Related: Understanding corneal shape helps scleral lens fitting

    Glucose-monitoring contact lens

    Google and Alcon have collaborated on a novel glucose-monitoring contact lens. This lens has sensors that are embedded between two soft layers of material, and a pinhole in the lens allows tear fluid to seep into the sensor and be used to measure blood sugar levels.

    Yolia Health’s TVT treatment

    Yolia Health is seeking FDA approval for its drop that can restructure the cornea. It can be used in corneal reshaping and affects cornea collagen structure. TVT treatment is currently approved in Mexico and is in process for U.S. FDA approval.

    TearLab Osmolarity Reader

    This next-generation platform can perform rapid testing in under two minutes. The TearLab Osmolarity Reader tests osmlarity, inflammation biomarkers, allergy, biomarkers, and specific drug-related biomarkers.

    Giovanni Castelli
    Giovanni Castelli is the content specialist for Optometry Times. He is a 2014 graduate of Cleveland State University with a degree in ...


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