Google is working on contact lenses with special sensors to monitor diabetes blood sugar levels. The lens measures blood sugar levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniature blood-sugar sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.
“Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys, and heart,” the project’s co-founders, Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, write on Google’s blog. “A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.”
Regular pinprick blood tests are the usual way to track blood sugar levels. Although a person’s tears can also show blood sugar levels, the engineers say they’ve been hard to collect.
The lenses check blood sugar once a second and may feature tiny lights that would come on as an early warning of dangerous blood sugar levels.