Google[x], the lab behind Google Glass, announced today that they’re working on a new project that’s testing “smart contact lenses” that will use your tears to track your glucose levels.
In a post on the official Google Blog, Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, the project co-founders state that they are “testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.” The chip and sensors are so small in fact that they describe them as looking like “bits of glitter” and “thinner than a human hair.”
The contact lenses are aimed at helping those living with diabetes to easily monitor their glucose levels with a “miniaturized glucose sensor” that is “embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.” The current prototypes can generate a reading one per second. In addition, the team is also exploring the use of installing tiny LED lights that when lit up will act as indicators that glucose levels have crossed a certain point.
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, an estimated 285 million people worldwide are affected by diabetes. This number is expected to hit 438 million by 2030. Today, over 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. So this type of solution would be a game changer and one that Google believes is “worth a shot.”
Otis and Parviz both graduated from the Electrical Engineering program at the University of Washington. Parviz headed up Google’s last ocular technology project, Glass. And according to an article from The Verge earlier this week, Otis holds a patent on a wireless contact-lens biosensor.
The team is currently in discussions with FDA so it may be while until we see this solution rolls out to the general public.
Source: Google Blog