Google develops contact lens that can monitor glucose levels

By on January 17, 2014, 9:30 AM
google, google x, fda, diabetes, glucose, contact lens

Google has developed a contact lens that contains a glucose sensor, antenna, capacitor and a chip designed to help those with diabetes. The lens, which doesn’t restrict eyesight, takes glucose readings twice every second and sends the information to an external monitoring device via radio frequencies.

In a blog post on the matter, Google outlined the need for such a device. With one in 19 people on the planet dealing with diabetes, it can become like a part-time job to manage. Glucose levels change frequently throughout the day and must be kept in check at all times via painful blood drop tests, etc.

The team at Google [x] wondered if they could help and came up with the contact lens in question. It’s comprised of chips and sensors that look like bits of glitter and an antenna that is thinner than a human hair. The lens doesn’t rely on batteries but instead is able to get power from the monitoring device via, you guessed it, radio frequencies.

According to project lead Brian Otis, future models may even include a light source built into the lens that would let wearers know the status of their glucose levels without having to look at the external monitoring device. This could be activated when the wearer closes their eyes, for example.

Google said they are in discussions with the FDA regarding the device but admit there is still a lot of work that must be done before the technology can be brought to market.

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