Google Developing Smart Contact LensCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: January 17, 2014 09:00AM
In an official blog post yesterday, Google introduced its "smart contact lens project" to the world. But before you start thinking this is Google Glass in contact lens form, it's not. Instead, it's actually to help monitor glucose levels for those with diabetes. As you probably know, up until now, those with diabetes have had to prick their finger to test drops of blood, often multiple times a day. Because it can be a disruptive and painful process, many people with diabetes check their glucose levels less often than they should. Scientists had discovered that you can track glucose levels through other bodily fluids, such as tears, but unfortunately tears are not so easy to collect – until now.
Google is currently testing a smart contact lens that uses a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. The prototypes generate a reading once per second and Google is exploring integrating tiny LED lights that would light up when glucose levels cross above or below certain thresholds. Something as simple as a contact lens that automatically reads glucose levels without user interactions is certainly a lot less intrusive and disruptive than pricking one's finger for blood.
The project is still way too early to enter the consumer market, but Google has already completed several clinical research studies and are currently in discussions with the FDA.
Source: Google Blog