Meaning of glaucoma eye disease
Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease and worldwide the leading cause for irreversible vision loss. Reduction and control of IOP demonstrated to be the only effective treatment to reduce the risk of disease progression. Globally close to 80 million patients are affected by the disease now; by 2040 then number is expected to increase because of the aging population and life-style to 112 million patients worldwide.
The Problem: Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a chronic, non-curable disease, also called the “silent thief” of sight as the patients are asymptomatic for a long time. It typically affects elderly people and people with a family history, but it is also observed that more and more young patients are developing the disease due to other life style diseases like diabetes or arterial hypertension. In glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure or dynamic pressure fluctuations are causing damage to the optic nerve. Progression of the disease leads to loss of vision over time and eventually to blindness of the patient, if not treated properly. Unfortunately it is not possible to restore a damaged optic nerve and by this vision of a patients. Therefore the primary goal of any therapy, either by medication or by surgical interventions is to reduce or control the intraocular pressure. But reduction and control of intraocular pressure is challenged by severe limitations of current state of the art intraocular pressure measurement methods:
- Current methods only allow measurement of intraocular pressure as the procedure has to be performed at the eye doctors’ office by specialists. This results in quite infrequent measurements, far less than necessary for an adequate patient monitoring and patient care.
- Patients’ self-measurements and measurements under normal life conditions are not possible today. This results very often in low therapy adherence of many patients, which is followed by further and unnecessary progression of the disease.
- Crucial information about the highly dynamic eye pressure and its fluctuations and variability in between office visits and over the course of a day is not obtainable; therefore results of a chosen therapy can’t be controlled in a timely fashion, therapy adjustment is in many cases significantly delayed. This is the reason why a chosen therapy often fails and a patient has to accept further progression of vision loss.
The EYEMATE system includes a permanent implantable micro-sensor to be implanted during cataract, glaucoma or corneal surgeries and it is also in a stand-alone procedure for direct measurement of eye pressure. A patient hand-held device for sensor powering and data read-out is communicating real-time via internet with eye care doctors or the patient as well. There is no need for the patient to have the measurements at their doctor’s office because this measurement can be obtained conveniently at or at the place of work. Patients can take eye pressure readings themselves easily and at any chosen frequency under normal life conditions. Instead of just a few IOP measurements per year, the system can provide numerous ones throughout the day and day after day. With such information, glaucoma medications can be tailored to the patient’s specific need. As the EYEMATE system also provides a direct feedback to the patient in a home setting – information previously unavailable with standard methods – patient therapy adherence is improved, as demonstrated in pre-market studies. The current EYEMATE system version is CE marked for use with primary open angle glaucoma patients. Implandata is also working on other versions to be used in other glaucoma situations.