The end of 2016 was envisioned as the date that the first autofocus contact lens would be fitted to a patient’s eye, but the Google-Novartis partnership behind this development has announced a delay.
A Novartis spokeswoman told Reuters that while the work is progressing steadily, “It is too early to say when exactly human clinical trials for these lenses will begin.”
She continued: “This is a very technically complex process and both sides are learning as we go along. We will provide updates at the appropriate time.”
The autofocus product is not the only “smart” contact lens that the Novartis and Google partnership are working on – a contact lens with an embedded glucose sensor to measure changes in the tear film is also being developed by the Google offshoot Verily.
Novartis chief executive, Joe Jimenez, told Reuters last year that he expected a human clinical trial using the prototype autofocus lens for presbyopic patients to begin in 2016.
In a previous statement, Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, highlighted that: “Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturisation of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people."
Image credit: Jay Zynism