Google has announced that it has been testing a smart 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.

Image credit: Google official blog

Image credit: Google official blog

According to the feature on Google’s official blog, the reason behind this decision lies in finding the best possible solution for measuring glucose levels in patients suffering from diabetes.

Diabetes is a growing problem that affects every 19 people on the planet. Having diabetes is a constant struggle as people who suffer from this condition try to keep their blood sugar levels under control on a daily basis.

Managing diabetes is quite a strenuous matter as glucose levels change frequently even with normal activity like eating or sweating. Sudden drops or spikes are quite frequent and can be dangerous, so constant glucose levels monitoring is a must. Some wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor under their skin, others must prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day.

Scientists have been trying to find better and less painful solutions for managing glucose levels and Google has joined in the efforts to alleviate the daily struggle of diabetes patients.

Google is now testing prototypes of the smart contact lens that are able to generate a reading once per second. Further, the company is exploring the potential of the smart contact lens to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so the next step would be integrating tiny LED lights that would light up each time glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.

Also, the company has begun discussions with the FDA but the technology is a long way from hitting the market. Google further reveals that they plan to partner up with experts who are in the business of designing, manufacturing and bringing such products to market. These partners will be in charge of developing apps that would make the measurements taken with the smart contact lens available for the user and their doctor.

Google admits that the technology is still underdeveloped and much needs to be done, but multiple clinical research studies have been conducted and hopes are high.