The search giant said it hoped to develop other apps for the smart contact lens, which could one day even show wearer’s other types of information and include tiny screens.
‘You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem—affecting one in every 19 people on the planet,’ Google said in a blog post announcing the research.
‘But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
‘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.
‘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 project’s co-founders, Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, say they hope the technology could eventually become commonplace.
‘We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material,’ they said.
‘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.
‘It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype.
‘We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.’
The firm is in discussions with the FDA, but says ‘there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use.
It hopes to work with other medical firms to develop the lenses and other smart health monitoring devices.