Google announces glucose monitoring smart contact lenses
Straight out of your science fiction franchise of choice, the latest in a line of very up-close and personal Google devices has been announced – a contact lens that monitors blood sugar (glucose) levels on a one reading per second basis.
The device sandwiches a small microcircuit between the two halves of a ‘biocompatible’ contact lens which contains the glucose monitoring chip and a wireless transmitter/receiver chip, which also draws power from the signal carrier wave to power the device which is so small the signal alone provides enough electricity to fuel the minute power consumption needs of the lens.
Current research has recently shown that one of the more interesting ways to monitor blood glucose is through human tears, or in this case, the fluid around the eyeball. Far from making the target audience cry every time they need to check their blood sugar, Google’s proposal is as elegant as it is useful, with critical diabetes sufferers potentially able to monitor their blood sugar by the second, minimising the risk of diabetic shock.
Google’s device could allow sensitive sufferers to lead a more normal life, instead of living in constant fear of a rapid, unmonitored spike or trough in glucose levels at the supermarket or work, plus of course they won’t have to endure that needle to the thumb ten times a day. For some this may be the best news of all. Needles are still scary, after all.
This revolutionary device is only just coming over the horizon. Questions regarding how safe it will be, how hygienic it needs to be, whether it will cost a lot, and whether it will last for long or need to be replaced often have already been raised. Google is currently in concert with US medical authority the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to ensure the medical safety of the device. Other questions have not yet been answered by official channels. Watch this space, these devices will hopefully hit retail stores one day, if all goes as planned.