It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but Google has unveiled a prototype for a smart contact lens that can monitor the tears of diabetes sufferers to check their glucose levels.
With diabetes a growing worldwide problem, already affecting one in every 19 people on the planet, the struggle to keep blood sugar levels under control is a daily battle for sufferers. If unchecked, complications can be extremely dangerous including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart.
The project’s co-founders, Brian Otis and BabakParvis, hope the technology will eventually become commonplace.
The lens works by using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturised glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. They explained: “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 early days, but the pair hope that this technology could lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.