Google’s Latest Moon Shot Is a Smart Contact Lens for Diabetes Patients
Google has shrunk down a chip and sensor system so small it can be embedded in a contact lens.
Instead of a circuit board, the tiny pieces are connected to a circular gold foil antenna mounted on a flexible plastic-like material that comfortably sits on a person’s eye, outside of their own sight.
Why? To help people with diabetes.
Google’s smart contact lens project is designed to measure the glucose content of the wearer’s tears, once every second. Theoretically, it could be a noninvasive way for diabetics to keep their blood sugar levels in check, rather than pricking their skin to sample their blood multiple times per day, or wearing a continuous monitoring device that’s stabbed into their side to tap into subcutaneous tissue.
If the smart contact lens ever makes it to market, it could be welcome news for the more than 380 million people worldwide with diabetes — a number that could reach beyond 590 million by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
Given the pain, blood, calloused fingers and overall inconvenience of today’s options, many patients simply don’t check their blood sugar enough — and thus don’t properly calibrate their lifestyle and medication.
If new devices like Google’s work, “people could take as many glucose readings as they want per day without finger sticks,” said Kelly Close, who has lived with diabetes for 27 years and edits diaTribe, a closely followed newsletter about diabetes products and research. “They could avoid the highs and lows, and ultimately the long-term complications of the disease like heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure.”
Google. Not just a cut above but in a seperate superior class altogether than the vole.