Red Herring 100 awards for the best startups in Europe in 2008 have been announced. Only two (!) companies in biomed categories have been recognized by Red Herring: Israel-based Foamix and a Swiss company Sensimed AG, a firm trying to commercialize a noninvasive intraocular pressure monitor with a sensing contact lens.
Here’s how the company outlines its technology:
We propose a novel approach to intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement allowing 24-hour continuous IOP monitoring, regardless of patient position and activities. The key element of this innovative measurement method is a soft disposable contact lens with a MEMS sensor embedded – the CLS – allowing the measurement of the cornea deformation due to IOP changes. As the system is placed in the same way as a corrective contact lens, no anaesthesia is required and patient vision remain almost unimpaired. A telemetry microprocessor and an antenna are also embedded into the CLS for wireless power and data transfer.
The CLS System comprises a pair of glasses (or patch for overnight measurements) and a pocket unit – the CLS Reader. Thru the glasses energy is sent to the CLS and data are retrieved wirelessly and stored in the pocket unit to be worn by the patient elsewhere.
The company has been around since at least 2004, so we are not really sure what was the reason for Red Herring to select it now. On the other hand, the company had almost a €4.8 million venture capital infusion in January, so things are not as static as they might appear to be.