When you think about it, a contact lens is really a prosthetic device. It’s an object that we put on a part of the human body to help it function better. But some patients with limited vision need much more than a contact lens. They need a device that can provide vision correction, protection for the eye, or even just a way to make the eye more comfortable in harsh environments or in response to disease or injury.
One solution is the use of a “scleral lens” which covers the front of the eyeball. The problem is that while the average eye may look smoothly rounded, that is not the case. Traditional scleral lenses are produced in different sizes, and then the best fit is found through trial and error. EyePrintPRO is a company that takes a different approach. An impression is taken of the eyeball, much like you can make a casting of teeth. A 3D scanner then digitizes the surface of the casting, and then this information is transferred to computer-controlled machining equipment that fashions a lens out of an oxygen-permeable plastic material. The result is a device that fits the patient’s eye precisely, with no fitting or adjustment required. This provides a stable platform on which individualize optics can be placed to provide vision correction as needed.
This is one more example how digital information is transforming healthcare. It is now practical to customize more products and treatments to the specific needs of individual patients. The “quantified self” now extends not just to measuring our individual performance and activities, but also can include the ability to measure our bodies in ways that we never could before.