LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California Center for Body Computing, in collaboration with VSP Global’s The Shop and USC Roski Eye Institute, recently launched a pilot study of Level, a fitness tracker embedded in an eyeglass frame.
“Offering our patients digital health tools and wearable technology in our eye clinics is the wave of the future,” said Dr. Rohit Varma, interim dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and director of the USC Roski Eye Institute, in a statement.
The study, comprised of USC employees who wear daily eyeglasses, involves tracking steps, calories burned, distance traveled and activity time through technology embedded in the temple of the optical frame. The technology includes an accelerometer, a magnetometer and a gyroscope, which are wirelessly synched via Bluetooth to an accompanying smartphone app.
The app will sync with VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope initiative, where study participants will accrue points based on reaching daily step goals. Once a certain number of points are achieved, the user will trigger a donation of a comprehensive eye exam and pair of glasses to someone in need. Participants are able to choose a charity of their choice for the donation among seniors, school-age children, veterans or the homeless population.
Dr. Gloria Chiu led the study’s eye care team for the USC Roski Eye Institute. She said that having a digital health sensor embedded in eyeglasses is going to show more reliability and consistency in biometric measurements as opposed to wrist-based wearables.
“Not only is Level a unique health-tracking technology that fuses function, fashion and digital health in a platform as common as eyewear, our collaboration with USC will allow VSP to study Level in the context of increasing health and wellness outcomes while creating empathy and opportunity for someone in need,” said Jay Sales, co-director of VSP Global’s The Shop, in a press release.