Smart contact lenses for people struggling with diabetes is Google's next big project now that health is once again becoming a major factor in the lives of Americans. (And it totally beats being a Glasshole.)
As of now, there are more than 25 million Americans with diabetes — that's just below 10 percent of the population. Close to 7 million of them don't even know they have it. A new collaboration between the Google X research lab and pharmaceutical giant Novartis licenses new technology that gives people a smart lens to control diabetes and other medical conditions. The deal, which was announced on Tuesday, involves Novartis licensing the smart lens technology from the Google X research division under the condition that the two companies will develop the lens together.
How It Works
The goal behind the smart lenses is to help people who suffer from diabetes track their glucose levels. As for now, the primary method of checking blood glucose level in people with diabetes is pricking their finger several times a day. To alleviate this time consuming and painful process, the smart lens will be able to constantly measure the tear fluid in the eye to track glucose levels.
For the tech savvy, the data from the lens will be sent wirelessly to the user's mobile device. The lenses contain tiny sensors and microchips allowing them to accurately measure glucose levels, but don’t worry, users won’t even feel them, according to the companies. Google claims the sensors are so small the look like bits of glitter.
Not Only For Diabetes
The smart lenses initiative doesn’t stop at just helping those with diabetes. Novartis claims that it sees potential for this technology in helping restore the eye’s natural autofocus through applications such as implanting the lens into the eye.
In may be a while until we actually see this technology put to use, but it’s still exciting to know that it's in the making.