Google and Novartis have recently announced their collaboration with  an agreement to work together on the further development of the smart contact lens, which was unveiled by the research team, Google X, back in January.

The lens promises to analyze tear fluid in the eye to provide constant measurements of a person’s blood glucose levels.  It does this by using non-invasive sensors.  Once the measurements have been made, they can then be sent wirelessly to a mobile device.  This would in turn assist diabetics in managing their disease more easily.

The technology has been licensed by Novartis through their eye care subsidiary, Alcon.  They will look to developing the device into a commercial product.


Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, has said that his company is “very excited to work with Novartis (on using) the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people.”

Novartis is viewing this technology as having more potential to also help “restore the eye’s natural autofocus.” It would do this through more advanced applications such as implanting the lens directly into the eye.  So the far reaching applications of this technology could go way beyond the prospective benefits for diabetes sufferers and into who knows what.

The agreement made yesterday does not change the fact that this is a long-term development project and so will obviously take a long time to produce concrete results for the FDA.  It does however mean that Google’s glucose-tracking smart lens is now well on the way to being a commercialized medical product.

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[Image via gearhungry]