Google Gets into Diabetes Care with Smart Contact Lens
Earlier this week, the news that was catching everyone’s attention was Google’s announcement that it had a new licensing deal with Novartis to bring its smart contact lens to the market. Among the ocular medical uses will be glucose monitoring and presbyopia.
The novel contact lens marries the electrochemical technology of a continuous glucose monitor (cgm), a soft contact lens, a chip about the size of a piece of glitter and an embedded antenna. Google is testing a prototype that will read blood glucose once per second and would need no calibrations. Wow!
In January, Google reported that the device was in the early days of testing and had only recently spoken to FDA. But with this new partnership with Novartis, the alliance says it will hopefully have a prototype available for R&D reviews in early 2015. Part of the excitement in the press is the bold statement that Google will have this on the market in five years!
So what is happening to the direction of diabetes management? Two weeks ago, we had the FDA approval for inhalable insulin, and this week we have a partnership between Google and Novartis for a non-invasive CGM. We also have Smart Insulin sitting in the pipeline of Merck pharmaceuticals, which could be a shot once a day or even one every couple of days versus several shots per day, or an option to insulin pumps. It does seem apparent that diabetes technology is hard at work trying to become less invasive physically and that has the potential to really help all of us living with long-term diabetes! Stay tuned, as I’m sure there is more to come.