Google’s vision (sorry) of smart contact lenses that monitor glucose levels in diabetics are one step closer to reality as it signed a commercial licensing deal with Alcon, the eyecare division of the pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
The lens uses sensors to measure the glucose content of tears and transmit that data to a smartphone app that automatically alerts users if their levels are too high or too low. Google reported back in January that it has completed several clinical trials, and that it would be partnering with other companies to manufacture the devices …
The deal with Novartis is the first such partnership to be announced.
“We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs,” said Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. “This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye.”
“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 Sergey Brin, Co-Founder, Google. “We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”
In addition to monitoring blood sugar, Novartis said the Google technology also had the potential to help people who need glasses for reading by restoring the eye’s autofocus.
No timeframe has yet been given for commercial availability of the smart lenses.