Google Sugar Lens


The guys and gals at Google are putting out some pretty nifty inventions. Last year they introduced Google Glass, which allows users to do things like check email and read maps, all with a pair of glasses. They're also testing driverless cars, and now something just as unexpected: a contact lens that measures blood sugar in the wearer's tears!

For diabetics, that's got to be exciting! Imagine not having to poke yourself several times a day to check your blood sugar level. This traditional way of checking blood sugar is invasive, inconvenient and expensive, but right now diabetics don't have a choice if they want to stay healthy.

When their sugar or glucose level is either too low or too high they can suffer serious health problems over time. Some diabetics have their feet amputated, lose their vision, and die from kidney failure. So, their glucose levels must be kept within relatively strict limits. But people aren't always good about their medical regimen so Google's contacts could do the work for them.

It has tiny wireless chips and a glucose sensor embedded between two soft contact lenses to take sugar readings once per second. The electronics are so small they look like glitter and the antenna is thinner than human hair. Google's trying to incorporate tiny LED lights to alert the wearer when glucose levels are off. They've completed some clinical trials to refine the technology. Part of that is to create apps that store the measurements on a smartphone for users and their doctors.

If the contacts turn out to be accurate and affordable, what a difference it would make to over twenty million American diabetics whose numbers are rapidly growing.

More Information

Google Developing Smart Contact Lenses To Help Diabetics
"The wearable tech will help people monitor their blood-sugar levels."

Introducing our smart contact lens project
From Google's official blog

Info from MedlinePlus on diabetes, including an interactive tutorial available in both English and Spanish