Megan Newman, ‘Doah Editor-In-Chief
January 29, 2014
With a new year comes new inventions, especially from industry leaders such as Google. On Jan. 16, Google unveiled their prototype for their newest technological invention from the Google X lab– a contact lens. Unlike the contacts you may use on a daily basis to help you see, this contact lens has been designed to monitor the body’s glucose levels and wirelessly transmit the data to help diabetics monitor their blood sugar levels without pricking their fingers. Though the prototype still has an estimated five years of further development and testing before being released to consumers, it appears to be the most promising non-needle glucose monitor currently in production. According to the Associated Press, the FDA approved a wristwatch glucose monitor in 2001, however patients reported that the electric currents from the watch were painful and the results from the wristwatch were not always accurate. Other contact lens, saliva sensors and even a tattoo sensor are in development however Google’ prototype is the front-runner with their financial backing and technological expertise. The glucose monitoring contact would be a less painful solution to finger pricking for the worlds 382 million diabetics. According to Renub Research, glucose monitoring is an estimated 16 billion dollar industry by the end of the year.
Google still has quite a bit of testing to undergo before submitting for FDA approval. The device needs to be tested as a medical device under several condition that could affect the monitor’s readings such as windy conditions, crying and other outside factors that could contribute to false readings.
Much more is to come from the Google X lab this year, Google Glass is in testing and the lab is currently also working on a driverless car. Keep your eyes peeled for further innovations from Google as they continue to develop technologies for this and other products that are not only fun, like Google glass, but can also improve the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people around the world who will no longer be subjected to pricking their fingers daily.