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.