I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
New smart contact lenses from Google will monitor blood sugar and help vision
Last June, there was word that Google [x], a subcompany of Google Glass, had developed a smart contact lens. Using micro-mini electronics and wireless technology, the company had successfully put together a functional prototype that could monitor blood sugar levels and send information to a readable device such as a smartphone or tablet. Tuesday, July 14, news broke that Google had struck a deal with Alcon, the largest subdivision of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, in order to make the lenses a reality.
Alcon is the leader in eye care and per their website specializes in “surgical, pharmaceutical and vision care products.” The company operates in 75 countries and serves 180 markets with the aim of improving sight (and therefore quality of life) for customers.
The lenses will not only keep track of blood sugar levels read from the fluid of the eyes but would also help patients with farsightedness. The companies also seem to have plans to move towards developing lens implants.
Google will develop the tiny technology (with microchips the size of glitter and antennae the size of one human hair strand) necessary for the lenses. Alcon will in turn take the prototype and develop versions of the lenses that can be sold to the public.
Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin told the press that
Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people. We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.
While plans for these lenses are underway, the technology is still in it’s infancy and getting FDA approval will take many years, some pundits say but Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said that it is possible to have a commercial product ready for the market in five years time.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com