Leading Off


Leading Off



Google Creates Glucose-Measuring CL

In an effort to end the diabetic patient’s burden of implanted glucose monitors and finger-pricking, Google X, the same “secret lab” credited with Google Glass, is testing a smart contact lens (CL) that measures glucose in tears.

“We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second,” explains project cofounders Brian Otis, Ph.D., M.S., B.S., and Babak Parviz, Ph.D. M.S. “We’re also exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.”

The doctors say they came up with the idea of using a tiny, wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor — fixed between two layers of soft CL material — and a tiny pinhole in the lens to enable tear fluid to enter the glucose sensor after determining that amassing tear fluid without disturbing the eye’s natural state is difficult.

Charlie Ficco, O.D., a specialist in diabetic eye care says he thinks the concept is “amazing,” though the smart CL must have comparable accuracy with current conventional testing, high-oxygen permeability to optimize corneal health and the ability to communicate electronically with a meter or insulin pump rather than the proposed lighting system.

Several studies have been completed on the lens and how tear glucose corresponds with blood glucose. Also, the doctors say they are in talks with the FDA.

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The best of business on the Web:

■ To keep your presence on social media engaging, talk about topics other than you, and post about events, holidays and awareness weeks you can link to your business and that connect you with your patients. Also, add visuals and post questions and inspirational quotations. Finally, keep the posts short. — Salman Aslam,, Jan. 12, 2014.

■ To improve time management, do the most important thing first (making a good decision at the days’ end is less likely), eliminate all distractions from the task at hand, and reduce the scope of the task, but stick to the schedule. — James Clear,, Jan.15.

■ Public speaking can increase your value as a businessperson by 50%. Check out Slideshare,, Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations (O’Reilly Media; 2008), Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences (Wiley, 2013) and Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (New Riders, 2011). — Carmine Gallo,, Dec. 27, 2013.

■ Research shows staff who feel their workplace is loving and caring, report high levels of satisfaction and teamwork. Think about how you can cultivate and enrich staff joy or pride, pay close attention to your emotions in the office (this directs office culture), and think of ways your practice can promote caring and compassion among staff. — Sigal Barsade and Olivia O’Neill,, Jan. 13, 2014.


Corneal Reflections Could Catch Criminals

■ For crimes in which the victims are photographed, such as kidnapping and child pornography, the victim’s corneal reflection, enhanced by zooming in on a high-resolution face photo, could help to identify the criminal, reveals a study in December’s PLOS One. The researchers arrived at this conclusion after performing two experiments.

In the first experiment, they asked volunteers who were familiar or unfamiliar with the faces presented to them to judge whether a corneal reflected image paired with a standard image was the “same person” or a “different person.” Those unfamiliar with the faces presented performed at 71% accuracy vs. 84% accuracy for those familiar with the faces.

In the second experiment, the researchers asked volunteers to write the name on any face they could identify.

All images were obtained from a 39 megapixel digital camera.

The results: The volunteers correctly named a familiar face 90% of the time, indicating that extracted face images don’t need to be high quality for identification.


Essilor Announces New Technology and ECP Campaign

■ Essilor of America has announced the availability of the Varilux Comfort Enhanced Fit digital lenses, a partnership with Transitions Optical and a national point-of-purchase campaign for ECPs regarding the Xperio UV lenses.

Varilux Comfort Enhanced Fit digital lenses. These lenses minimize unnatural head movement during reading, afford comfortable transitions at all distances, decrease peripheral distortion to expand visual fields throughout the lens and enable design elements on both sides of the lens via Varilux DualOptix digital surfacing, the company says. In addition, they can be customized through the personal frame-wearing measurements provided by the company’s Visioffice 2 System.

Transitions Optical partnership. Essilor and Transitions Optical have joined forces to launch Transitions Signature VII lenses. The lenses feature Chromea7, a proprietary photochromic dye that absorbs more light to enable the lenses to have an enhanced response time to UV. For its part, Essilor has introduced the Power of 3 initiative, which includes Varilux, Crizal No-Glare and Transitions Signature VII lenses.

National point-of-purchase (POP) campaign for ECPs. In the fourth quarter (starting in April), Essilor will dispense consumer display specialists to more than 4,000 U.S. practices to help them incorporate updated Xperio UV POP and educational materials.

For additional information on the lens, Visit

Optometry Giving Sight Launches in Mexico

Mexican optometric and optical industry leaders came together to celebrate the launch of Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) at the MELIA Hotel in Mexico City. OGS is a global fundraising initiative that targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision, resulting from uncorrected refractive error. Visit for additional information.


● Glaucoma patients who habitually sleep on one side appear to have increased visual field loss, says December’s American Journal of Ophthalmology.

● In a nonclinical population, no significant correlation exists between tear osmolarity and ocular symptoms or tear osmolarity and the self-determination of dry eye, says January’s Optometry & Vision Science.

● Enhanced text spacing increases reading speed by 26% with high contrast text and by 46% with low contrast text, and it reduces the number of errors by more than half in AMD patients, says November’s PLOS ONE.

● The likelihood of glaucoma-caused blindness has decreased by almost half since 1980, says January’s Ophthalmology. The study’s researchers postulate that diagnostic and therapeutic advances are likely the reasons for the reduction.

● A grading tool for the limbal stem cell deficiencies (LSCD) aniridia and Stevens-Johnson syndrome reveals post-allogenic ex vivo cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation, LSCD decreased, and visual acuity increased up to 12 months after the procedure, says September’s Stem Cells Translational Medicine. After this period, LSCD severity and VA regressed.

● Sjögren syndrome (SS)-associated aqueous-deficient dry eye is linked with a major upregulation of conjunctival epithelial tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α mRNA relative to both non-SS dry eye and control groups, says December’s Optometry & Vision Science. The amount TNF-α mRNA is upregulated in SS may play a role in the severe ocular surface damage observed in these patients, the researchers conclude.

● A single dose of stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) significantly decreases ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) retreatment for nonvascular AMD patients and is safe at one year, says September’s Ophthalmology. In addition, SRT is linked with relatively well-preserved VA for more than one year.

● The suprathreshold Moorfields Motion Displacement Test (MMDT), a 31-point suprathreshold visual field test that employs moving-line stimuli displayed on a standard laptop, showed “good” diagnostic performance for diagnosing glaucoma when the condition was defined by a structural criterion, says October’s Ophthalmology.

● Almost one-third of those older than age 75 have anisometropia, says October’s Optometry and Vision Science.