Google's Testing a Smart Contact Lens for Diabetics

Paul Lilly

Smart contact lens measures glucose levels

Chances are high you know someone with diabetes. My dad is diagnosed with it and gives himself an insulin shot each day. I have a young nephew who suffers from it as well. People with diabetes have the daily challenge of keeping their blood sugar levels in check, which means monitoring what they eat, when they eat, and how much they eat, among other things. It's a bum rap, but to make things easier, Google has begun testing a smart contact lens that measures glucose levels using a miniaturized sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.

There are tears in the contact lens as well as a wireless chip to transmit data. It's still early in the game, but already Google says it's completed multiple clinical research studies that are helping to refine its prototype.

"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," Google stated in a blog post ."

Google's hope is that this will become a tool for people with diabetes to manage their disease. For now, the search giant is in discussions with the FDA, though "there's still a lot more work to do" before this becomes a usable technology.

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