Google's Diabetic Contact Lenses
Near the end of 2014 Google introduced a new type of revolutionary contact lenses. These Contact lenses are tailored specifically to diabetics in that they measure blood glucose levels in the tears of patients.
This technology aims to veer away from the “archaic and disruptive” form of checking blood sugar by pricking one’s fingers and using a blood sugar monitor. This product will achieve this by providing diabetics with a quicker, painless way of checking their blood sugar, then the results that these contact lenses produce can be uploaded to the patients’ smartphones. Also, seeing as the old form of checking blood sugar is an inconvenience, many diabetics do not check their glucose levels as often as they should and are therefore put at risk of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Moreover, this product and the results of users will be able to be accessed by Physicians, which in turn could revolutionize the obtaining of patient information in the medical field. Glucose levels may be able to be tracked and give physicians better indication of the disease’s progression which may give a more clear understanding of how the patient should receive treatment.
Although, this product seems promising it poses many questions- for example, one main goal of this testing is to reduce the amount of invasive procedures that diabetics must endure, but putting contacts with a radio antenna into one’s eye does not exactly seem less invasive than pricking one’s finger. Also, Google indicated that the results measured by the contacts would be able to stream almost real time. This poses a couple pertinent questions; what if there are latency issues between the smartphone and contacts? Furthermore, will these contacts constantly be evaluating glucose levels and send an alert to user’s smartphones or will patients have to initiate diagnostic testing through their smartphones? If it is the latter, I feel as though checking glucose levels would be more easily overlooked due to the overall convenience of the system. Lastly, how durable are these lenses and the “miniaturized” pieces they contain? This product needs much more field testing before it is released, especially if it will play such a large role in maintaining the health of diabetics.