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Cliara receives US patent for contact lens measurement device

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5 min read

Contact Lens Insertion and Removal Apparatus (CLIARA) LLC has received a U.S. patent for its novel device designed to accurately measure the amount of force needed to remove gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses from the eye.

Tell me about CLIARA.

Based in Miami, Florida, CLIARA is an optometric design company working to make contact lens use easier and safer for patients via a portfolio of ocular devices (including a robotic assistive device and the CHIO handheld device for contact lens insertion/removal).

The firm was founded in 2012 by Craig Hershoff, who lost his vision in 2000 due to Fuchs’ dystrophy, underwent three corneal transplants, and now uses semi-scleral RGP lenses to have 20/20 vision in both eyes.

The goal: To help patients who have difficulty inserting and removing contact lenses.

Let’s talk about this new patent.

The patent—titled Eye Contact Lens Insertion and Removal Apparatus—lists Hershoff as the inventor, with the following description:

A contact lens insertion and removal apparatus of the subject invention utilizes a lens manipulator that can be controlled by a user to insert a contact lens into the eye or remove it from the eye.

Go on …

Also included in the description is a “display system that provides a user with dual images of the lens manipulator” so the user can see an “optical illusion of the lens manipulator from a side view,” providing the user with an “increased sense of control and safety.”

The cameras can relay to the display screen for each eye an image of the lens manipulator as it nears the eye receiving the contact lens, according to the patent.

Additionally, per the patent, a storage and cleaning system is available with the lens conveyor system by “including one or more storage wells for lenses,” with each well able to deposit or remove fluid from the well.

What’s the major advantage of this device?

The patent describes the eyecare professional (ECP)-calibrated invention as providing an entirely mechanical (non-electrical) system for inserting and removing contact lenses, enabling it to be:

  • A portable device
  • Easy to manipulate
  • Capable of giving a user complete control over
    • Note: If needed, the device can also automated

Gotcha. What else to know?

CLIARA is reported to be working with BostonSight, a nonprofit clinic in Needham, Massachusetts, and LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a nonprofit eye health facility, to conduct a clinical study that will evaluate the effectiveness and applications of this new device.

Lead investigator: Karen G. Carrasquillo, OD, PhD, senior vice president of Clinical and Professional Affairs at BostonSight

Location: LVPEI in Hyderabad, India

Now give me a rundown on CLIARA’S other products.

First up, two Cliara Robots are advertised on the company’s website:

  • Cliara Lens Robot
    • Voice-activated and electronically controlled
  • Cliara Lens Elevator
    • Manually operated

Per Hershoff, the robot is designed to help patients with dexterity issues to insert and remove their lenses.

And as with the technology approved in this recent patent, the devices include a camera so a user can see where the lens is going and how it's being placed.

Any other products?

The CHIO is a handheld device—a contact plunger, if you will—for removing and inserting contact lenses. It’s marketed for the use of:

  • Inserting and removing RGP and scleral lenses
  • Inserting soft and hybrid lenses

It’s constructed of medical-grade acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, which is cost-effective and has tensile strength, high abrasion and chemical resistance, and anti-corrosive properties.

How does it work?

Via CLIARA’s patent technology, the hygienic device provides a suction cup designed to create the precise amount of suction needed for lens insertion and removal in less than 1 minute, according to the company.

The application process is intended to prevent bubble formation while also ensuring a “gentle removal process.

How much does this device cost?

Per CLIARA’s shop, the device is available to purchase for $19.95 plus tax for a grand total of $22.95. Click here to order.