Glaucoma is not one specific disease but rather a group of eye diseases that involve significant damage to the optic nerve along with a buildup of pressure within the eye. It has only minor symptoms and by the time they are noticed, it is often too late for treatment. Needless to say, frequent and continuous monitoring is ideal. Implandata Opthalmic Products GmbH, based out of Hanover, Germany, may have the solution, having recently announced the advancement of its Pro-IOP eye pressure measurement system, an implantable sensor that could not only reduce the need for doctor visits but also help retain the sight of the aging population.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Unfortunately there are no symptoms with glaucoma until it is too late. Loss of vision associated with glaucoma is irreversible.
How Pro-IOP Works
Once installed in a patient, the sensor transfers data to the doctor’s database and provides a version of the data to the patient through an app. In an interview with Relaxnews, co-founder and CEO, Max Ostermeier said, “Patients being able to take the reins – that’s going to change the game in glaucoma management. Glaucoma is a growing disease and as Baby Boomers age, they become more at risk.”
Previous research showed the possibility of a micro implant to wirelessly measure eye pressure, however the design that was created there catered more towards cataract patients who planned on implantation during cataract surgery.
Ostermeier states, “not all glaucoma patients need cataract surgery, so there isn’t always a need for a cataract lens and for those who don’t have cataracts, the sensor can be implemented in a variety of places in the eye.”
Why Choose Pro-IOP
Pro-IOP is unique, however, because it comes in a variety of designs; not only does it aid patients who have already undergone cataract surgery or have no need for it, but also patients whose needs for cataract surgery and the installation of the micro implant are simultaneous.
For patients who do not have cataracts, the implantation procedure is similar to the LASIK procedure, which uses a laser to correct vision issues.
Future of Pro-IOP
The company is currently conducting clinical trials in Europe, in order to attain CE Marking, which is required for medical devices to be sold in Europe; its first implantation was a success.
FDA approval for a pilot study in the United States is expected this fall. Ostermeier says that he hopes US-based testing will start this winter and to have Pro-IOP on the market by the second half of next year.
At the moment, Implandata Opthalmic Products GmbH is focusing on the project at hand. However, there is potential for the technology to expand into cardiac pressure measuring.
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