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Google wants to shake up diabetes treatment options with high-tech contact lenses

By dkpope
Sep 8, 2015
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  1. If you’ve been wondering what Alphabet, the Google umbrella company is up to, here’s an update: They’re taking on diabetes. Google Life Sciences, held under Alphabet, announced that diabetes will be their first major disease target, NPR reports. They have partnered with several other companies, including Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company who has made advances in diabetes treatment options, as well as Novartis and Dexcom.

    Early this year, Google announced that they were developing contact lenses that can detect glucose levels, and according to Inquisitr, those lenses will begin human testing in 2016. The lenses have tiny wireless chips and sensors in between two layers of lenses that measure blood sugar levels by analyzing the wearer’s tears. Google has also talked about adding LED lights to the lenses, which would flash when the levels are too high or too low.

    Google Life Science’s newest goal is far more ambitious than just contact lenses, though. They plan to change diabetes management technology into a modern operation -- and leave the daily finger pricks far behind.

    For anyone to say that they’re tackling a whole condition is pretty ridiculous -- even if it is the mega-power that is Google. But there is a lot to be done in the area of diabetes treatment. Little has changed in the field since the discovery of insulin in 1923, so many are saying Google might be able to make some advancements.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    If they can make some inroads into finding a cure or better cheaper treatment then it's already money well spent and a noble cause. Many poverty stricken victims just have to die from diabetes because they can't afford the lifelong treatment.
     
    dkpope likes this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,035   +269

    From the standpoint of someone with the condition, while this might lead to better control, it also might not. I also need glasses, and contacts were an option that I investigated many years ago. Contacts, for the diabetic, bring a whole different set of requirements for someone with the condition; they will have to be either cleaned regularly, or disposed of due to contaminants. For someone who cannot afford test strips, I can see where these would be also unaffordable.

    In addition, these may be of little more use in determining exact blood sugar levels, which the Type I diabetic explicitly relies on, than the continuous monitors that are already available. The continuous monitors are marketed as an aide to glucose control that cannot replace "finger stick" testing.

    The majority of diabetics, as I understand it, can tell if their blood sugar is low.

    My guess is that whoever decided to go this route is not a diabetic. To make the assumption that all finger-stick testing that diabetics go through is painful is, in my opinion, one that comes from lack of knowledge of the condition. 33-gauge lancets make the process nearly painless.

    What a type I diabetic needs is an instrument that gives accurate and repeatable results. Unless they are insulin dependent, Type II diabetics do not necessarily need the level of accuracy that a Type I diabetic needs in terms of blood glucose measurements.

    As someone who has seen many diabetes products come and go, I'll take a wait and see attitude with this.
     
    worker17 and dkpope like this.
  4. dkpope

    dkpope TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 207   +9

    Thanks for the thorough reply! I hope that as this project goes forward, Google employs or talks to diabetics in many different settings and situations. You wouldn't want Google to come up with a solution that isn't really helpful.
     
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +769

    I was diagnosed seven years ago and have struggled with this disease since that time. Most offensive is the pharmaceutical companies that abuse their ethical obligations all to make more profits with little to no concern about their patients. Elly Lilly recently introduced a new drug that costs $20 per pill or $600 per month. Oh yes, they offer to give the drug away ... if you are on an insurance program ... no telling where that will go after the first year. Years ago when I did work inside one of their plants I was told flatly that the company would not produce ANY pill that cost more than 10 cents per pill. We all hear the claims about development costs but if they would spread that over the entire patent protection period it would reduce costs to a level more could afford and survive. Apparently Elly Lilly and others are no longer concerned with our survival, just living enough to give them a fat profit!
     
  6. CraigY49ers

    CraigY49ers TS Rookie

    Hello,

    I have low blood sugar and yes I can tell when it is getting low but by that time it is usually to late and I start shaking and feeling terrible so I would definitely like to volunteer for testing of this product.
     

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