A new “smart” contact lens is in the developing stages in hopes that it will help diabetics be able to monitor glucose levels through the liquid in their eyes. Glucose levels can be monitored with this wireless, remotely operated lens, without diabetics having to constantly think about it throughout the day. Experts hope this finding will lead to further inventions of medications that can be applied directly into the membrane. What we know about new contacts for diabetics…
Contacts for Diabetics
Experts claim this will be the first potential use of contacts to monitor diabetes; however, this invention actually comes after Google attempted to release Google Contact Lens in 2018, to no avail. With previous hopes that a contact lens could diagnose diabetes, experts are predicting this new product could replace invasive blood tests for diabetics and also bring about new treatments for various eye diseases.
How This Lens Works
The device uses “chip technology to monitor sugar levels through the blood vessels behind the eyelids and warn the user of potential health emergencies.” The lens should dispense medicine through the eye to treat diabetic retinopathy which consists of damage to the ocular blood vessels. Diabetic test rabbits were used to find that the lens successfully monitored glucose levels and properly controlled drug delivery for the diagnosis. The development team is hopeful that the “smart contact lens could relieve diabetics from relying on invasive blood tests.” This idea has been considered for many years, but it has taken a lot to finally get the lenses to do what they are meant to. With the same goal in mind, Google set out to create a breakthrough medical lens. Unfortunately, in 2018, they ultimately reported “insufficient consistency in their measurements between tear glucose and blood glucose concentrations” needed to get accurate results from the lens. Not long after, scientists discovered that the area of the cornea’s surface allows for monitoring physiological changes throughout the body. Scientists then began putting together contacts for diabetics which will include “a real-time electrochemical biosensor, an on-demand flexible drug delivery system, a wireless energy transfer system, and a remote radio frequency communication system.” The lens delivered the genistein – used to treat diabetes – on diabetic rabbits as effectively as a regular injection. Prior to the tests taking place, the research team used an infrared thermal camera to ensure the lens was safe. Further testing will be required before experts can reveal whether or not these “smart” contacts will be beneficial in advancing diabetes healthcare.