Novartis and Google Team Up to Develop Smart Contact Lens to Measure Blood Glucose

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has announced that its eye care division, Alcon, has entered into an agreement with a division of Google to develop 'smart lens' technology for ocular medical uses.

"We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs,: said Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. "This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye."

"Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people," said Sergey Brin, Google's co-Founder. "We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true."

Now, specific to diabetes, this collaboration will likely include the development of a "continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body's glucose levels via a 'smart contact lens' which is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device."

Both companies clearly understand the potential in such a device, as the tens of millions of diabetics around the world have been waiting for a minimally invasive yet accurate and reliable means of testing blood glucose, and Google and Novartis together believe they have found those means. Time will tell, but there is every reason to be optimistic.

Photo: Irish Times