Diabetics often have a difficult time in managing their disease. Keeping tabs on blood glucose levels often requires painful needle jabs into a finger, and managing the time to do frequent checks is nearly impossible in a world that has become increasingly busier. Google hopes to have a better solution, though: a smart contact lens that can automatically monitor glucose levels and let you know when a significant change in levels occurs.
Google is no stranger to wearable tech — thanks to Google Glass — but this new contact lens brings the company into the medical industry. The contact comes equipped with a small glucose sensor that measures glucose in your tears, and then reports that to a tiny wireless chip. If the glucose level changes, tiny LED lights go off to let you know. This might sound outrageous, but it could be a realistic solution for diabetics. Google has already done studies to improve the prototype lens, but it’s still too early to tell if this is something that could be viable for the public.
There is no word, as of yet, about how comfortable (or not) these contact lens might be or whether they’ll be available with a prescription for people who already need vision aids. How often will the lens need to be cleaned and changed out? Will diabetics be expected to sleep in them? Lots of questions remain unanswered in the early stages. However, Google is actively working out specifics with the FDA and looking for partners that can help them bring the technology to the market. For now, though, this stays in the realm of Google’s projects that are considered “speculative or strange,” but also innovative: something the company specializes in.