Google finds partner to produce 'smart' contact lenses for diabetics

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has struck an agreement with Google to develop “smart” contact lenses that would help diabetics to track their blood glucose levels or restore the eye’s ability to focus.
The device for diabetics would measure glucose in tear fluid and send the data wirelessly to a mobile device, Novartis said. The technology is potentially life-changing for many diabetics, who prick their fingers as many as 10 times daily to check their body’s production of the sugar.
Many people with Type 1 diabetes and some with Type 2 diabetes monitor their blood glucose level to help to manage their condition and reduce the risk of health complications such as amputation and blindness.
The lenses themselves are outfitted with tiny sensors and microchips. Google has said that the chips and sensors in the lens are “so small they look like bits of glitter,” while the embedded antenna is “thinner than a human hair.”
The smart lens technology could also be a boon to people with presbyopia, a condition in which the eye loses its ability to autofocus, rendering people unable to see objects up close. The smart lens tech could correct vision by trying to restore the eye’s autofocus capability through a contact or intraocular lens.
Success would allow Novartis to compete in a global blood-sugar tracking market that is expected to be worth more than $12 billion by 2017, according to research firm GlobalData. Diabetes afflicts an estimated 382 million people worldwide.
sources:  c/net, Reuters
briservGoogle finds partner to produce 'smart' contact lenses for diabetics