Diabetes is among the most rapidly rising ailments today. Market research reports for healthcare estimate that around 390 million people could possibly be suffering from diabetes with half of them not being properly diagnosed at global level. Already developed equipment for easily testing blood sugar level at home involves a drop of blood. More research has now led to simple devices that perform the same function without having to prick the finger for blood. The medical field is highly incorporating technological developments into its procedures. Furthermore, big tech giants like Google are also working towards integration of technology and medicine. One of the results of this is the Google Contact Lens.
Until recently most of the devices that were used to check the blood sugar level relied on a drop of blood. This drop when fed into the device would generate the result. Healthcare industry research reports reveal that devices like Accu Check and blood sugar test strips are popular. Google has now moved beyond the primary requirement for blood whilst retaining functionality. Google Contact Lenses do not require blood but instead rely on tears and water released from eyes for calculating and monitoring the glucose level whilst enhancing the vision of the wearer. The lens consists of a wireless chip and a miniaturized glucose sensor. A tiny pin hole in the lens allows the tear fluid to seep into the sensor to measure the blood sugar level. Both of the sensors are embedded between two soft layers of lens material. The electronics lie outside of both the pupil and the iris so there is no damage to the eye. The wireless antenna present in each lens communicates the information to a wireless device. The prototype being tested can generate a reading once per second. Smart contact lenses are one of the most anticipated IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. Similar developments are taking place in certain regions around the world where the companies have managed to get patenets.
Scientists from Uisan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have developed a soft and flexible contact lens that will allow diabetics to monitor their blood sugar level with the blink of an eye by analyzing their tears and using LED pixels in the device. The developers have laid extra focus on improving vision and comfort of the wearer.
Oregon State University professors from the US are researching a bio sensing contact lens that has an ultra sensitive bio sensor that can detect the lowest glucose concentrations present in tears. After being fully developed the technology would transfer the information to a smart phone or other WI-FI/Bluetooth devices. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis teamed up with Google to develop the Google Contact Lens. Many other companies are also planning to enter the sphere of smart contact lenses despite modest developments. Google’s development is leading the way for several others. Technology is being developed that will work in similar fashion and detect oxygen levels, pulse rate and even the presence of cancer.
From an analysis of ongoing research we can conclude that there are two main objectives of modern technology which are firstly, to increase monitoring and secondly, to integrate technology and medicine. The researches that best prove this fact are being carried out by some of the most technologically advanced countries in the world led by the US and South Korea.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications