Google is testing a new method for people with diabetes to monitor their blood-sugar levels by wearing a contact lens equipped with tiny chips and an antenna.
Google said a prototype of its “smart contact lens” can generate a reading of a tear’s glucose level every second, potentially replacing the need for people with diabetes to prick their fingers and test drops of blood throughout the day.
“We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second,” said project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz. “We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.”
The pair noted that it’s still early days for the project, however. “We’re in discussions with the FDA, but there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use,” Google said.
Google said it planned to find partners to help bring the technology to market.
Google is developing a variety of new technologies outside its core business, including self-driving cars and balloons that beam wireless internet to remote regions of the world.
Google has also become more focused on health-related issues, launching a separate company in September devoted to tackling diseases related to aging