Thursday, 24 July 2014

Google & Novartis Collaborates to Develop Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics

Google & Novartis Teams to Develop Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics

Earlier this year in January, Google revealed its plans for devising smart contact lenses to help diabetic patients calculate their blood sugar level. Google is now closer to put this plan into practice as it finds a Swiss partner to collaborate with. The Alcon eye care unit of Swiss Pharmaceuticals, “NOVARTIS” will license the advanced Google smart contact lenses to address certain medical issues.

Traditionally; diabetic patients have to pin & prick the finger to calculate the blood sugar levels; which is painful, time-consuming & a little bit messy. It is crucial to have the sugar-levels of blood checked regularly & very timely to prevent patient from potential damages of eyes, kidneys & heart. Contradictory to this; Google advanced technology of smart contact lenses would constantly monitor the level of sugar in one’s body through the fluid found in eyes which will then be sent through wireless technology to the user.

Google & Novartis Teams to Develop Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics

"We're now testing a smart contact lens that is 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," project co-founders Brian Otis and BabakParviz said in a blog post in January when the technology was announced. "We're testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second."

Google’s smart contact lenses’ chips & sensors look like bits of glitters while the embed antenna is thinner than the human hair; as per Google’s elaboration at the “project revelation” earlier this year.

According to Google; the new breakthrough technology of smart contact lenses would even be a miracle for people with presbyopia- an age-related condition where eyes loses the ability of auto-focusing the closer objects. Smart lenses could attempt to correct the vision by restoring the capability of autofocusing through intraocular lens. It would further help blinds to see “some objects”. For instance blinds wearing smart contact lenses with a built-in camera could be able to walk on sidewalks near intersections.

"By combining Alcon's leadership in eye care and expertise in contact lenses and intraocular lenses with Google's innovative 'smart lens' technology and groundbreaking speed in research, we aim to unlock a new frontier to jointly address the unmet medical needs of millions of eye care patients around the world”, Said Alcon division head Jeff George said in a statement.

It is expected that Google’s smart contact lenses would ease lives of 382 million diabetics around the world.

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