Print 17 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Jan 21 at 9:52 AM

It's a glucose monitoring contact lens that draws readings from tears

Calling all fellow diabetics: You may be able to give your poor, punctured fingers a rest, because Google is creating a new way to test blood sugar levels through tears from the eyes.
According to Google's Brian Otis and Babak Parviz -- the project's co-founders -- the tech giant is devising a way for diabetics to check their glucose levels by wearing a contact lens, which detects high and low blood sugar readings via tears.
Otis and Parviz said that the lens contains a tiny wireless chip and a mini glucose sensor, which sit between two layers of soft contact lens material. 
Here's some great news for those who can't find enough time in the day to prick their fingers and check: the new contact lens prototypes generate readings once per second.
In addition to readings, the lens could also warn its wearer of extremely high or low blood sugar levels with tiny LED lights that glow when thresholds have been crossed into the danger zone. 

Google's glucose monitoring contact lens [SOURCE: Google]

If levels fall too low, diabetics experience symptoms like shaking, sweating, blurred vision, confusion, and can even pass out. Uncontrolled blood sugar can result in damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart, meaning that diabetics must check their glucose levels often to make sure they're right in the comfortable middle of high and low. 
"It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype," said Otis and Parviz. "We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease."
Google is talking with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about it, and is also looking to partner up with companies that can bring it to market. 
In other non-needle related news, the TED Blog recently posted seven ways scientists are moving beyond needles, including inhalable insulin.
Such devices like insulin inhalers and a glucose monitoring contact lens seem like moon shots, but they're great starts -- and great hopes for diabetics tired of the daily (and painful) grind. 

Source: Official Google Blog

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Lenses made possible by Microsoft
By datdamonfoo on 1/17/2014 3:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Lenses made possible by Microsoft
By Alexvrb on 1/18/2014 12:34:43 AM , Rating: 3
Thanks for the link! This really needs to be in the article.

A cursory search for this "new" project brings up results packed full of articles, tweets, etc, hailing this as a 2014 Google innovation! The video is from two years ago - and it shows MS working with UW on a version of this.

It's like (in the not so distant past) reading about a new Apple innovation all over the net, meanwhile buried in the comments section: "Uh, my Palm/Blackberry/WinMo/Symbian did this years ago."

RE: Lenses made possible by Microsoft
By troysavary on 1/18/2014 10:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, Microsoft failed at letting people know about something cool it was doing, allowing someone else to get credit.

RE: Lenses made possible by Microsoft
By Alexvrb on 1/19/2014 9:35:47 PM , Rating: 2
Once again, Google proves they're the best at advertising. But now they also are starting to resemble Apple - pretend what you're doing is unique and magical, and you're the first to think of it, despite evidence to the contrary.

Google's own blog post made it sound like they were the first to think of this, despite the fact that they knew that MS has already done work with UW on this. In fact, the Googlers working on this are hires from UW. They should have done the common courtesy of naming the MS researchers who helped make this possible, giving a modicum of credit where it's due.

I also fault journalists who are more than happy to write news articles spoonfed to them by Google, but don't do much of any independent research. Nor do they often cast their nets out very far when it comes to finding interesting new developments.

RE: Lenses made possible by Microsoft
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2014 12:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
Where is Google saying that? It's a well known fact lots of people have been working on things like this.

This isn't about who came up with the idea first, it's about who can deliver a viable product to the market. Despite Microsoft's "research", here we are years later, with nothing to show for it.

But now they also are starting to resemble Apple

lol what? Low blow! They aren't suing anyone over this...

By troysavary on 1/21/2014 9:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
It will be years before either company has anything to show for it because of how long it takes to get approval for anything related to medicine.

Don't Be Evil
By Reclaimer77 on 1/17/14, Rating: 0
RE: Don't Be Evil
By troysavary on 1/18/2014 7:51:11 AM , Rating: 1
Nobody made any even remotely disparaging remarks about this. It is actually pretty cool. You really need to relax. Google is big enough that they don't need you jumping out to defend them vs all their imaginary foes.

RE: Don't Be Evil
By Reclaimer77 on 1/18/2014 9:16:47 AM , Rating: 1
I'm surprised that got rated down. Comments like that usually get a 5 around here. I was just trying to fit in :(

RE: Don't Be Evil
By Reclaimer77 on 1/18/2014 9:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
*snaps fingers*

I know what happened, I forgot the obligatory NSA tie-in! Damnit :)

RE: Don't Be Evil
By troysavary on 1/18/2014 10:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
It got rated down because it was too over the top to not be recognised as trolling, maybe.

RE: Don't Be Evil
By BobsYourUncle on 1/18/2014 4:59:14 PM , Rating: 1
Aw heck, I'll shoot you a ;) just on general principle. Your follow up comments didn't present you as being a "Troll at Heart & to The Core" & your humble pass at a self deprecating pity party elicited my sympathies.

That, plus we all know that if anything like this were to pan out, well ... "All your health data are belongz to mine! "

P.S. - With full legal authorizations pursuant to 3rd party doctrine, we have, in fact, collected your comprehensive medical history. However, we promise not to read, review, or utilize these health records ( intentionally , any way :-\ ) until such time as your medical spending presents a threat to the financial stability of the U.S.A. - With Love - NSA

Hopefully these things come to pass
By TheDoc9 on 1/17/2014 12:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
It would help those suffering from a difficult illness.

RE: Hopefully these things come to pass
By unimatrix725 on 1/18/2014 2:01:00 PM , Rating: 1
"It would help those suffering from a difficult illness. " My opinion is that prevention is a better solution. Now if we could get google to keep those fat ass diabetics in shape we wouldnt have to worry about 75% of the "Diabetic Dilemma". A better approach would be a "Gene Therapy".

It is a "neat" idea. Hows that LED thing gonna work? Oh Im stroking out or is my sugar low? Depends on color and intensity. I'm sure someone will sue claiming blindness or some such when it actually saved their life, especially when driving.

By vcolon on 1/19/2014 9:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
pssst....I was born with diabetes.

Interesting tech indeed.
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/17/2014 4:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
While helpful for micromanaging blood sugar levels initially, this tech also has a lot of far-reaching possibilities that go outside of medical applications.

I hope I am around long enough to see this tech take off in a big way.

May never work
By rubyfoo on 1/17/2014 9:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with those who admire the technology. As a diagnostics industry veteran, I have to point out that no one has yet demonstrated that glucose levels in tears correlate closely with those in blood. The issue is not how you measure glucose in tears, but whether the data are meaningful. And I tend to be skeptical about that.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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