As if a diagnosis of glaucoma isn’t bad enough, the progressive disease is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide according to the World Health Organization. An undetected and untreated IOP increase can result in permanent blindness due to optic nerve damage. The current standard of care includes multiple visits to an ophthalmologist for intraocular pressure (IOP) tests. Unfortunately, IOP results can vary throughout the day. In 2016, we wrote about Sweden’s Sensimed Triggerfish, a contact lens with a microsensor that measures and reports changes in eye circumference for a 24-hour period. Sensimed developed Triggerfish to overcome the limitations of the traditional eye pressure test.

Implandata’s Eyemate System is a clinically-validated 24/7/365 IOP continual monitoring solution. Implandata is a Hannover, Germany-based ophthalmic products company. The Eyemate system consists of a microsensor, a data reader and recorder, and software in the physician’s office. The company is also developing a smartphone app to give patient access to the data. The biocompatible Eyemate implant does require a battery. The Eyemate reader uses a replaceable coin-sized 2CR5 lithium battery that powers the reader and wirelessly powers implant by creating a magnetic field.

A study published this month in the journal Ophthalmology found that single IOP measurements have limited usefulness because they do not accurately portray pressure variation. Patients in the study who used the Eyemate system were asked to take measurements four times a day during different periods in a three-month period. The continual measurements provided valid data to assist physicians in treating glaucoma.

Eyemate is CE-marked and currently available in Germany, Switzerland, and the U.K. Implandata has also applied for FDA approval to sell the Eyemate system in the U.S. Remote self-monitoring at home with digital devices is not only more convenient for patients than office visits alone, but in this case, continual monitoring by a physician is superior to periodic tests by clinical staff.