Google geniuses are aiming to redefine what it means for diabetics to see their blood glucose levels.
The technology would let people "see" their blood glucose levels, by measuring the amount of sugar in the tears of the eye.
On Thursday, the tech giant unveiled a contact lens that accomplishes just that. The lens features two glitter speck-sized chips within the layers of the lens containing thousands of miniaturized transistors. A hair-thin antenna wraps around the edge.
From a story by the Associated Press, Brian Otis, one of the lead researchers, states:
"The beautiful thing is we're leveraging all of the innovation in the semiconductor industry that was aimed at making cellphones smaller and more powerful. ...
"It doesn't look like much, but it was a crazy amount of work to get everything so very small."
It's the smallest wireless glucose sensor ever made, and others are in the works. According to the AP, Netherlands-based NovioSense is working on something similar to the contact lens, a minuscule, flexible spring that is tucked under an eyelid. Another company, Israel-based OrSense, has tested a thumb cuff, while research continues into tattoos, saliva sensors and other technology.
Dwight Holing, American Diabetes Association board chairman, said timely and accurate information will be of foremost concern to diabetes sufferers, though he is grateful that tech companies are working to make life easier for diabetics.
"People with diabetes base very important health care decisions on the data we get from our monitors."
No word on whether the lens also will feature a virtual heads-up display that would let users literally see their blood glucose readings in front of them Terminator-style.
The full AP story here.