Thursday, February 13, 2014

Google’s ‘smart contact lens’: Future Glucose Monitoring Device

smart contact lens

On 16 January 2014,  Google has announced that for the past 18 months, they had been working on a smart contact lens project, Google Contact Lens.

The Google Contact Lens 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 are testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. They are also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so they are 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 they have completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine their prototype.

Brian Otis and Babak Parviz are co-founder for this project. Both of them is electrical engineering faculty members at the University of Washington. Babak Parviz also one of the project leaders at Google’s Project Glass next to Google X lead Product Manager, Steve Lee, and Stanford Research Professor and founder and head of Google X, Sebastian Thrun. In 2011, Microsoft supported Babak Parviz's research into chip-enabled contact lenses that could detect diabetes-related high blood sugar levels.

Google plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market. These partners will use their technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor.