October 1, 2014

Google working on smart contact lens to aide diabetics

Hand holding - zoomed in

At Google X, the Internet giant’s secret facility, Googlers are working on projects out of the norm, like Google Glass, to make the world a better place.

Today Google introduced one of its projects that aims to help people with diabetes, smart contact lenses.

Before you start imagining tiny devices able to place notifications literally in your eye or to be able to watch YouTube videos, these are strictly to help manage diabetes, which Google says is “affecting one in 19 people on the planet.”

You may have heard about diabetes, but if you’re not completely sure what it is, someone that has diabetes is not able to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

Since diabetics usually need to usually wear some sort of sensor or need to prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day to manage their glucose levels, Google X set out to make it less painful though computer “chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair”.

What the smart contact lenses will do is check the glucose in tears thanks to a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.

The prototypes are able to generate one reading per second and Google may eventually integrate tiny LEDs into the lenses as an indicator for dramatic changes in glucose levels.

Google X’s smart lenses are still in the very early stages, but there have ready been multiple clinical research studies and discussions with the FDA. Google is also currently looking for partners to help develop apps to make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor. So depending on how long these take to come to market. you may be able to get this information on your smartphone, smartwatch, Google, Glass, smart glasses, etc.?

With projects like this, it seems anything is possible thanks to tech. So, what are your thoughts on the smart contact lenses? Do you think they will catch on or are they too strange?

via Official Google Blog

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