Google Testing a Smart Contact Lens for Diabetics
January 17, 2014 11:37 AM
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It's a glucose monitoring contact lens that draws readings from tears
: 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
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.
Official Google Blog
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
May never work
1/17/2014 9:22:09 PM
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.
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