Google unveils smart contact lens prototype for diabetics
Miniaturized sensors monitor wearers' glucose levels from their tears, saving diabetics from the disruption of regular blood checks or embedded sensors
Friday 17 January 2014
Google has revealed a prototype for a smart contact lens designed to help diabetics by monitoring glucose levels in the wearer’s tears.
The technology is being developed by the search giant’s ‘X’ lab who have created special miniaturized electronics necessary to take the readings. Google says that the sensors are so small that they “look like bits of glitter”.
At present diabetic suffers have to either wear glucose monitors embedded under their skin or administer their own regular blood tests to ensure that their glucose levels safe. It's thought that the disease affects one in every 19 people on the planet.
“Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart,” said Google in a blog post announcing the new technology.
“A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.”
The current generation of the technology is capable of taking a reading once per second using sensors sandwiched between two layers of a soft contact lens.
Brian Otis, project lead on the smart contact lens, holds the technology that he says is the smallest wireless glucose sensor ever made. Credit: AP.
Google also hopes that a second generation of lens could integrate LED lights into the design, lighting up in the corner of the wearers’ vision to provide an early warning “that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.”
Project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz say that they are currently holding discussions with the FDA (the US agency responsible for public health regulation) and that they are looking for partners to help bring the product to market.
They predict that it will take at least five years for the product to reach consumers.
“It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype,” says the company.
“We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.”
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Virus to kill 67,000 in Monrovia by December, claims academic study
Alexander Wang for H&M: Pumping video of the campaign filmed in London has been released
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
What do the text messages between you and your partner reveal about your relationship?
Controversy over Queen's 'first tweet' at London's Science Museum
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.N...