Google has patented a contact lens that can be used to measured blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
The technology, which has been in the works since 2014, functions using a sensor and chip that are encased in plastic coating. It has a number of uses, including identificatio, but its glucose-measuring abilities could prove to be a significant breakthrough in the management of diabetes.
The lenses measure blood glucose levels through the tears, which for the most part contain the same amount of glucose as the blood. The tears move through a small perforation in the lens, which allows the extraction of blood sugar levels. Glucose levels are measured using the same algorithmic principles as continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs.
Prototypes of the lenses are capable of measuring blood glucose levels once per second.
Google has decided to be vague about the specifics of the patent, refusing to disclose whether or not the patent is specifically for contacts lenses that measure blood glucose levels. “We hold patents on a variety of ideas,” said a spokesperson. “Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t.”
Despite Google’s reticence, the prospect of glucose-measuring contact lenses remains promising. Last July, the company partnered with Novartis to commercialise and license the lenses.

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