Contacts of the future: digital lenses measure vital signs - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Contacts of the future: digital lenses measure vital signs

From science fiction to science fact, new contact lenses can measure cholesterol levels, heal wounds or cure dry eyes.

According to University of Washington's "Wired," Scientists at the university are developing wired lenses. From measuring cholesterol to sugar levels, these high tech contacts can keep track of your vital signs using a very tiny LED powered wirelessly by radio frequencies.

"People will be able to transmit their vital signs onto a telephone or an app or to their doctors directly. For a diabetic, if their sugar levels are up they can pick it up very quickly," explained Dr. Melvin Gehrig, optometrist at The Eye Clinic.

He added that eyes provide the perfect surface for doctors to monitor your health.

"The tear layer of the eye provides a lot of the enzymes, sugar levels, cholesterol levels of the whole body and they're very accessible because they're in your tears all the time," continued Dr. Gehrig.

Other futuristic lenses include contacts that act like a Band-Aid for the eye.

"Putting antibiotics in contacts where you put the contact on like a bandage onto your eye when you have different types of eye problems," explained Dr. Gehrig.

He also said researchers are working on lenses that help glaucoma patients avoid drops daily.

"The contacts actually have the glaucoma drops embedded in them. They're in testing, but they are very, very close in testing," said Dr. Gehrig.

Contacts that relieve dry eye are already on the market.

"I think that's the major reason people stop wearing contacts is because of dry eye problems," said Dr. Gehrig.

He predicts the digital contacts will not hit the market for a few years, but he adds that technology rolls out faster and faster everyday.

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