Google testing smart contact lenses which can track glucose levels in diabetics

NEW DELHI: The crazy engineers insideGoogle X are hard at work. And this time they have come up with a contact lens that will measure the glucose level of a person in real time. The product is still in early stage of development. For now Google is testing prototypes and how they can be best used. But if successful, this contact lens may help diabetics say goodbye to painful needles that they have to use several times a day to successfully monitor their blood glucose level.

In a blog post explaining the contact lens, Google said that glucose level in a human body can be measured from tears. "But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google X, we wondered if miniaturised electronics—think: (silicon) chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy," the blog post explained.

Google X is special division inside the web company that works on future technologies. It is headed by Google co-founder Sergei BrinGoogle Glass, which is essentially a small computer with a tiny head-mounted display, also came out of Google X. Glass too started as a prototype but last year it was sold to early adopters. It is likely to be widely available in retail stores this year.

For now, Google has not shared any details on the availability of the contact lens. "We're in discussions with the FDA (the US government that regulates health products), but there's still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use," said a Google spokesperson. The company hinted that this glucose-monitoring contact lens, whenever it comes to the market, will likely sold by "partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market".

The current prototype of the contact lens can record the glucose level every second. "The product measures glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. 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," explained the official blog post.



for more http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/google-contact-lens-will-monitor-blood-glucose-help-diabetics/articleshow/28933912.cms

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