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Novartis and Google Developing the Smart Contact Lens to Monitor Blood Sugars

Jul 18, 2014

Smart contact lenses would also correct vision in a different way similar to an autofocus camera lens….

738-11-image1.jpgNovartis and Google are joining forces to work on a smart contact lens that monitors blood-sugar levels and corrects vision in a new way, the latest in a series of technology products designed to monitor body functions.

The two companies recently announced that Novartis’s Alcon eye-care division would license and commercialize "smart lens" technology designed by Google[x], a development team at the search engine giant.

The smart lenses, which Google unveiled in January, are part of a growing number of wearable technology and software products used to monitor health and fitness. Last month, Google debuted its Google Fit platform to track health metrics, such as sleep and exercise, on devices running its Android mobile operating system.

The lenses contain a tiny sensor that relays data on glucose contained in tears via an equally tiny antenna. In a news release earlier this year, Google described the electronics in the lenses as being "so small they look like bits of glitter" and said the antenna is thinner than human hair.

Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said the move toward wearable health technology, like the smart lenses, was part of a broader trend to involve patients in managing their own health.

The smart lenses may also be used can also correct vision in a manner similar to the lenses on autofocus cameras. Novartis hopes to have a prototype available soon for research-and-development.

Novartis News Release July 16, 2014