Google partners with Novartis to develop smart contact lenses

Google has partnered with Novartis to develop a special smart contact lens for diabetics.

Marking the first partnership of its kind between pharmaceutical groups and major technology companies, the union will see the two companies work on a way to help diabetics manage their health.

The smart contact lens will monitor the glucose intensities in the user’s eye fluid, helping them track their sugar levels. All data collected by the contact lens will be transmitted to your smartphone or tablet.

Currently, to accurately monitor blood sugar levels, diabetics must test their blood using finger pin-pricks and special testing machines.

Google’s aim is to make it easier to diabetics to manage their condition with continuous monitoring.

“This deal is the start of a journey to a new way of thinking about healthcare,” said Joe Jimenez, Novartis Chief Executive. “The way we are going to deliver breakthrough innovation in the future is through the combination of biology and technology.”

Novartis is also looking to develop a smart contact lens that is capable of helping users switch between near and long distance sight, similar to varifocals but using technology akin to an auto-focus camera.

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google said when revealing the smart contact lens prototype in January that the company wished to “use the latest technology in miniaturisation of electronics to help improve … quality of life.”

No financial details have been disclosed, but both companies will reap the rewards of any financial gains made by the venture.

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Via: FT