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July 16, 2014

Google, Novartis Team for Blood-Sugar Monitoring Lenses

Product Would Record Glucose Levels in Eye, Transmit and Record data

Contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels are on the way.

In an announcement earlier this week, Google and Swiss-based Novartis stated they will join together to create the eyewear. The companies are also working on lenses that could help the eye focus.

Diabetics will benefit from the blood-sugar lenses which will measure glucose levels in the fluids on the eye, transmit that information to a device and allow wearers to track their levels in a new way.

Traditionally, diabetics have to take their own levels — via a pin prick on their finger — nearly a dozen times a day.

As reported by The Globe and Mail, success would skyrocket Novartis to the top of the pack when it comes to the blood-sugar tracking market. That’s a market expected to be worth more than $12 billion within three years. There are roughly 380 million people across the globe who have diabetes.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Novartis’ chief executive said wearable health technology — such as the contact lens — is part of a larger trend involving patients who are able to monitor their own health.

“This will be a very important growth area in the future,” Joe Jimenez said, adding the Smart lens technology had the potential to become a “large revenue stream” for the company.

The Smart lenses, he said, could also be used to correct vision in a manner similar to lenses on autofocus cameras.

In a press release, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the lenses could have a major impact on the lives of wearers.

“Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people,” said Brin. “We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”

Financial details of the deal have not been released.


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.