Google’s smart contact lens project could allow diabetics to track glucose levels automatically

January 17, 2014

(Credit: Google)

To help people with diabetes as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control, Google is testing a smart contact lens designed to measure glucose levels in tears.

It uses a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material, according to Google Official Blog.

People with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day. It’s disruptive, and it’s painful. And, as a result, many people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should. This should help.

“We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.

“It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.”

Google plans to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market and in developing apps that make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor.