Novartis and Google are joining together to work on a smart contact lens that monitors blood sugar levels and corrects vision, the latest in a series of technology products designed to monitor body functions.
As part of the agreement, Google and Novartis’ eye care division Alcon will create smart lenses that feature “non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturized electronics” and focus on two main areas. The first will provide a way for diabetic patients to keep on top of their glucose levels by measuring the sugar levels in their tear fluid, feeding the data back to a smartphone or tablet. The second solution aims to help restore the eye’s natural focus on near objects, restoring clear vision to those who are only farsighted (presbyopia).
People with presbyopia, who can no longer read without glasses, Novartis is considering the possibility of implanting the lens directly into the eye. Which, is great but… ouch?
The technology is still very much in its infancy—
Novartis hopes to have a prototype available for research-and-development reviews by early 2015.
Related: Google Strikes Contact Lens Deal