Novartis & Google to Develop Contact Lens That Monitors Blood Sugar

Google and Novartis announced this week that they're to develop a smart contact lens with the potential to monitor the wearer’s blood sugar levels.

Novartis said that Alcon, its eye care unit, had struck a deal to license so-called smart lens technology from one of Google’s research divisions. Financial terms were not disclosed. Alcon (formerly CIBA Vision) offer comprehensive eye health and vision care products globally.

As part of the agreement, Alcon said it would look to create products from Google’s prototype smart contact lens, which uses miniature sensors and a radio antenna thinner than a human hair to track glucose levels. The companies did not specify how the data would be transmitted.

Information about blood sugar levels, which is particularly useful for people with diabetes, could be uploaded to smartphone devices and used by doctors and patients to monitor the data almost in real time, according to a statement from Google issued when the company released its prototype in January.

Joe Jimenez, the chief executive of Novartis, said that product was not as far along in development, and that both lenses were still early in their development.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he said. “This will take a few years, as opposed to a few months.”

Mr. Jimenez declined to disclose financial details of the deal. He also said that it was too early to estimate what such lenses, if they are eventually approved, would cost.

Sergey Brin, a Google founder, said the company’s smart lens technology could “help improve the quality of life for millions of people.”

The push to develop medical technology comes as several of the world’s largest technology companies are looking for new areas for growth. Analysts say that the pharmaceutical and health care sectors are crucial targets as people increasingly take greater control of their own medical treatment.

A Google Glass update, featuring Julia Gillard!
Our PM really is all over the optical headlines lately!

Ms Gillard yesterday got a chance to try the high-tech glasses which are tipped to cost at least $750USD and will allow users to wear a device that operates a lot like a smartphone.  Google glass has motion sensors and GPS and can be controlled by voice commands or head tilts.

The PM got a chance to try out the new specs when she met with Google’s Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette and tried on the frames that designers are hoping to build in such a way that vision-impaired tech fans like Ms Gillard won't be required to wear both their own lenses and Google glass.

  • -Google Glass due to hit the market in 2014
  • -Acts like a smartphone and is operated by voice commands
  • -Tipped to cost $750 USD when they go on sale to the public

Check it out here:

Saved By Contact Lens Solution?

Monday, 18 February 2013
Saved By Contact Lens Solution? It really is "multi-purpose"!

A young British backpacker found alive after three nights lost in the Queensland outback survived by drinking contact lens fluid and his own urine, his mother has revealed.

Claire Derry said her 18-year-old son Sam Derry-Woodhead had lost 15 kilograms during his ordeal in searing heat on a remote property 130 kilometres from Longreach.

Sam, who went missing on Tuesday afternoon from Upshot Station, where he had spent about 10 days working as a jackaroo as part of his gap year, was found sunburnt and dehydrated on Friday.

"He tried drinking his own urine and that was pretty revolting experience and he wasn’t able to cope much with that," Ms Derry said.

"So he drank tiny sips of the contact lens fluid he had with him and that saved him. He lost 15 kilograms though.”

And by the way, you probably won't use it to save your life, but use code FREERENU to get a free B&L Renu solution starter kit & case with your order! (expires 20/02/13)