Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics

By Kevin Baichoo

Do you remember television antennas? Now imagine that the television antenna was shrunk thinner than hair and placed in between contact lenses to monitor tear glucose levels.

This is no longer science fiction. The creator of self-driving cars, augmented reality glasses, and balloon internet, Google X, also known as “Google Labs,” have accomplished another astonishing feat of engineering: contact lenses that can monitor glucose levels.

Instead of blood, the lenses use tears to determine glucose levels and can potentially warn diabetics when their glucose level becomes potentially dangerous. This is a brilliant solution to the endless needle stabs diabetics endure daily to test their glucose level. Furthermore, diabetics would be prepared for event he most slight glucose spikes since the lenses monitor glucose levels every second. These lenses are truly a great engineering breakthrough.

The lenses are made up of a tiny wireless chip, miniaturized glucose sensors, and two layers of soft contact lens material. The chip and sensors are embedded between the two layers for safety and comfort and are so small that they look like bits of glitter.

The lenses are currently being tested at Google X. Researchers are trying to implement a tiny LED to warn users when their blood sugar levels get dangerous.

Google is doing a phenomenal job tackling a problem that one in every 19 people face. I can see this project going beyond monitoring glucose levels. Some features I would like to see are augmented reality, more bodily measurements, and zoom functionality that can rapidly correct vision and let us see at both a microscopic and macroscopic level. Google has ushered in a new age of technology with Google lenses. One can only imagine what it will be doing next.

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Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/google-making-smart-contact-lens-diabetics-article-1.1582917

http://www.nytimes.com/video/multimedia/100000002657401/google-unveils-smart-contact-lens-for-diabetics.html

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/introducing-our-smart-contact-lens.html

 

6 Responses to "Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics"

  1. Michelle C.   March 11, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    It’s amazing to see how technology is progressing so rapidly. Although this product is still fairly new and is in testing, I can see this innovation aiding the diabetic community greatly. Additionally, these contact lenses may be the foundation for even greater inventions. This can inspire many other innovative ideas that can benefit individuals with other diseases or disabilities.

    Reply
  2. Rachel S.   March 11, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    The creation of contact lenses used to lower glucose levels is definitely life-changing espiecially within the diabetic community. Eliminating constant injections of insulin throughout the day would take the burden off for people. I believe that because diabetics are extremely health-conscious; this is perfect way to manage glucose levels both precisely & pain-free. Being a person who knows plenty of diabetics, I feel that this invention could be almost as great as a cure!

    Reply
  3. Yu Guan   March 11, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    While the idea of using contact lenses to test glucose levels, like most technology, there are going to be flaws. While most of us do imagine the future to be more technology-orientated, it is also important to not over rely on technology. However, I applaud google for tackling problems and innovating new ways for making everyday life easier and more convinent for the average person. With new technology, such as the Google Glasses, google is revolutionizing how people see their everyday lives.

    Reply
  4. Dennis C   March 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    This engineering breakthrough would make it easier for people to determine what their glucose level is. It would take away the need for people poking their finger with needles and the the pain of carrying it around. Since it is in between two contact lenses, it makes it even more convenient for users. It is certainly something that will change everyday lives

    Reply
  5. Jeffrey Li   March 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    I think that this is an amazing accomplishment. I am a diabetic so I can definitely relate to this. I believe that this new invention will benefit diabetics greatly because we are always trying to watch what we eat. With this contraption we will be able to do so more carefully and accurately. If this were to ever come out to the public, I would definitely get it.

    Reply
  6. Jack Jiang   March 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    One of the reasons that I like Google is their mentality towards innovation and progressive technology. Even though they have had ambitious projects that haven’t really caught on, the important thing is that they have always been in the news for trying to push for a greater level of technology into our everyday lives. Even if the diabetic sensor lenses isn’t massively profitable for Google, they are still taking the initiative to ease the lives of diabetic people. Once one company starts producing a marketbale product, there will always be followers that can create competition.

    Reply

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