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[IP] Blood glucose measurement contact lens project from Google



I just saw this posted to 
www.googleblog.blogspot.com

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 Youbve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problembaffecting
one in every 19 people on the planet. But you may not be familiar with the daily
struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood
sugar levels under control. 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. 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.

 Many people Ibve talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a
part-time job. Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like
exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are
dangerous and not uncommon, requiring round-the-clock monitoring. Although some
people wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor embedded under their skin,
all people with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood
throughout the day. Itbs disruptive, and itbs painful. And, as a result, many
people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should.

 Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluidsbsuch as
tearsbin the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose
levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At
Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronicsbthink: chips and sensors so
small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human
hairbmight be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with
greater accuracy.

 Webre now testing a smart contact lens thatbs built to measure glucose levels
in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are
embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. Webre testing
prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. Webre also
investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the
wearer, so webre exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to
indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.
Itbs still early days for this technology, but webve completed multiple
clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope
this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their
disease.

 Webre in discussions with the FDA, but therebs still a lot more work to do to
turn this technology into a system that people can use. Webre not going to do
this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products
like this to market. These partners will use our technology for a smart contact
lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer
and their doctor. Webve always said that webd seek out projects that seem a
bit speculative or strange, and at a time when the International Diabetes
Federation (PDF) is declaring that the world is blosing the battleb against
diabetes, we thought this project was worth a shot.

 (The box is a rendering of what the embedded lens would look like, just in case
my copy and paste does not work.)
.
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