Google’s New Smart Contact Lens

Google's New Smart Contact Lens
Source: Public Domain

Swiss drug maker Novartis in collaboration with Google are have developed smart contact lenses. This contact lens will help diabetes patients track their blood glucose levels and restore the eye’s ability to focus. Their second approach is for Presbyopia. In Presbyopia, ageing eyes have trouble focusing on close objects. According to researchers, this technology has potential that it might be said as life-changing for many diabetics and Presbyopia’s patients.

Actually, the project was announced on 16 January 2014. The company actually wanted to help diabetics by measuring glucose levels in their tears. It even has the wireless device that will wirelessly send data to a mobile device.

Research firm Global data said, “According to analysis, diabetes afflicts an estimated 382 million people worldwide. Success would allow Novartis to compete in a global blood-sugar tracking market that is expected to be worth over $12 billion by 2017.

Norvatis think, “This lens technology will help restore the eye’s ability to focus, almost like the autofocus on a camera.”

The smart contact lenses consist of non-invasive sensors, microchips, and other miniaturized electronics. A tiny pinhole in the lens allows for tear fluid to seep into the sensor to measure blood sugar levels. Both of the sensors are present between two soft layers of lens material. It won’t damage the eye because the electronics lie outside of both the pupil and the iris.

The wireless antenna in the lens is thinner than a human hair. It acts as a controller to establish communication with wireless device through RFID technology. It even consists of small LED lights. It warns the wearer by lighting up when the glucose levels are crossed above or below certain beginning. Thus, the performance of the smart contact lenses in windy environments and teary eyes is unknown.

Novartis chief executive Joe Jimenez said, “This really brings high-technology. It will combine it with biology and that’s a very exciting combination for us. I think you’re going to see more and more areas of unmet medical need where companies like Novartis are going to take a non-traditional approach to addressing those unmet needs.

The alliance comes as drugmakers explore ways for technology to reshape healthcare. This will definitely help patients to monitor their own health and lower the costs of managing chronic diseases.