Rumors of Google’s (NSDQ:GOOG) impending foray into medical devices proved true when the company revealed this week that it’s testing a "smart" contact lens that can take the place of regular finger-prick tests for testing blood glucose.
The technology giant is looking for partners to further develop the project, bring it to market and develop apps to capture data from the contact lenses and make information available to users and their caregivers, according to a company statement.
The contact lenses are fitted with wireless microchips, tiny glucose sensors and hair-thin antennae that can detect blood glucose levels in tears and transmit that data to another device. At this point the prototypes are generating 1 reading per second, and Google researchers are considering adding a tiny LED warning system that would light up to alert the wearer that blood glucose levels are nearing unhealthy highs or lows.
"It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype," according to a company statement. "We’re in discussions with the FDA, but there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use."
The revelation proves true rumors that began spreading earlier this month after reporters noticed that members of Google’s clandestine “X” research team were taking meetings with high-ranking FDA officials, including medical device chief Dr. Jeffrey Shuren.