Smart diabetic contact lenses from Google

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The contact lens determines the blood sugar level based on the tear fluid

Google develops electronic contact lenses that measure blood sugar levels and can thus make everyday life significantly easier for diabetics. The Google X research laboratory is currently testing the first prototypes of the intelligent contact lens, which measures blood sugar values ​​based on the tear fluid, according to the announcement in the official Google product blog.

It is not without reason that Google is one of the most innovative companies of our time. The group is now active in countless fields of activity. In a separate company, Google is researching, for example, the possibilities for extending human life. With the contact lens that has now been developed for diabetics, Google has once again shown how diversified the entrepreneurial activity of the Internet company is. Although the project is still at an early stage, the announcement of the development details shows that the path to a marketable product has already been paved.

Intelligent contact lens continuously measures blood sugar According to Google, the intelligent contact lens has a wireless chip and a miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded in the contact lens material. The built-in antenna is thinner than a human hair. With the electronic contact list, the sugar content in the tear fluid can be measured continuously. The values ​​are recorded once a second and can be transmitted to an external receiver such as a cell phone. It is also being examined whether tiny LED lights can be built into the contact lens as an early warning system, which light up as soon as certain limit values ​​are exceeded or undershot. According to the product blog, Google is “looking for partners who are familiar with the launch of such products. These partners can then use our technology for an intelligent contact lens and develop apps that carriers and their doctors can use to access the measured values. ”

Monitoring blood sugar levels significantly simplified Although the development of the intelligent contact lens is still at the very beginning, according to Google, several clinical studies have already been completed that have contributed to an improvement of the prototype. In the future, the contact lenses could "open up new opportunities for people with diabetes to control their disease," says the responsible Google researcher, Babak Parviz. Since the blood sugar level changes frequently during normal activities (e.g. sports, eating), regular monitoring of the blood sugar values ​​is of particular importance. Many diabetics have to use a special measuring device to analyze their values ​​several times a day using a blood drop. A very annoying procedure that, in case of doubt, cannot detect spontaneous derailments of the blood sugar level.

Avoid derailment of the blood sugar level
However, a sudden rise (high blood sugar) or a steep drop (low blood sugar) in blood sugar levels are extremely critical to health and require immediate countermeasures. Neglected controls can have extremely unpleasant consequences. Here, the intelligent contact lenses could help to detect and correct blood sugar derailments at an early stage. Babak Parviz said that at a time when the International Diabetes Federation warned the world was going to lose the fight against diabetes, Google believed that smart contact lenses as a project were worth trying. Now the idea has already made it into a prototype and a market launch seems quite realistic - even if it could take a few years until then. (fp)

Image: Jürgen Werres /

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Video: These smart contacts can monitor the glucose in tears

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