If you’re diabetic, or know someone who is, then you understand the annoyance (and pain) of being required to prick your finger at least five or 10 times every single day. Imagine not having to prick your finger anymore to test your glucose levels (and if you’re anything like me then you already have.)
Google, or more specifically two researchers from Google’s “secret lab”, Google[x], have begun to develop a contact lens that can monitor glucose levels. This may sound a little crazy at first, even Google itself described it as “seem[ing] a bit speculative or strange,” but it’s definitely worth some major attention. The lens acts only as a sensor; there is no display and it won’t obscure your vision. Additionally, the system is incredibly small. The miniature chip resembles a piece of glitter while the antenna is thinner than a single strand of hair.
While describing this device to someone they followed up with, “Does the lens use blood from your eye?” Fear not, the tiny sensor is able to use tears on the surface of your eye to measure your blood sugar. The technology is designed to take a measurement once per second.
Right now there are prototypes undergoing trials but any chance of the technology being available to the public is estimated to be at least five years into the future. In addition, Google is not interested in actually manufacturing and selling the product itself, only sponsoring the research. This work clearly has a long way to go but it’s an amazing idea that deserves attention and support.
Read Google’s blog post introducing the technology and stay tuned for more information!