Google is developing a smart contact lens, with pharmaceutical giant Novartis, to help patients manage diabetes. Under a new development and licensing deal between Google and the Alcon eyewear division at Novartis, the two companies said they will create a smart contact lens that contains a low power microchip and an almost invisible, hair-thin electronic circuit. The lens can measure diabetics’ blood sugar levels directly from tear fluid on the surface of the eyeball. The system sends data to a mobile device to keep the individual informed.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the company wanted to use “the latest technology in ‘minituarisation’ of electronics” in order to improve people’s “quality of life”. The combination of Google’s technology background and Novartis’ pharmaceutical knowledge would help meet “unmet medical needs”, Jimenez claimed. The Google team involved in the contact lens development is called Google[x], and it focuses on “finding new solutions to big global problems” in healthcare and beyond, according to the companies.
The secretive Google[x] facility operates in Mountain View, California, and one of its most high profile projects has been a self driving car. It is also working closely on speech recognition, balloon powered internet access for rural areas, wind power, and technology for the Internet of Things – in which internet connected home, personal and city objects communicate with each other and take automatic action when different events take place.