Google has the answer

This post is a follow-up of the precious one. I came across an interesting development in the world of diabetes that might be a real game changer in the near future.

We all know the stats: 1 in 19 people in the world develop diabetes. Needless to say it’s a growing problem. But how do those people actually cope with their disease?

Checking your blood glucose levels on a daily basis can become very cumbersome and even painful, which results in people checking their levels less often than they should. But having diabetes requires 24/7 monitoring as spikes in glucose level can occur at any given moment due to a number of things. People with diabetes say that monitoring their disease is “like having a part-time job!”

Google might have the solution.

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They have managed to develop a prototype of a contact lens that measures the glucose levels in the fluid of your eyes. The needed sensors are so small they were able to squeeze it between two layers of a normal contact lens. This device could measure your glucose once every second and give you the feedback on an app on your phone for example.

I think this could make the day-to-day life of a diabetes patient much easier. It would give them more freedom due to the time they would save every day.

Introducing our smart contact lens project

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6 responses to “Google has the answer

  1. Wow, if this really works, a lot of people will be helped !
    I was wondering if there are already similar tools for diabetes patients to use, besides having to check their glucose levels regularly? Is there already a device that can be implanted which can measure the glucose level of the patient constantly or is this really something the future will give us? Are they also doing research for tools that will measure the glucose levels in other fluids than tears?

  2. You are indeed correct. An insulin pump already exists in multiple form factors. Usually its a pump with an insulin reservoir that is directly connected to a vain (semi-permanently). The device measures the blood glucose on a regular basis and administers insulin accordingly to keep the concentration of glucose the same. Most diabetes patients also still measure their blood glucose the conventional way with a pinch of blood just to be sure. There are even version of the insulin pump nowadays that include a connection with your mobile phone of computer to make the monitoring even easier and more user friendly.
    I’m glad you asked about measuring techniques via other ways than blood of tears. There are some researchers who have found an alternative way to measure the blood glucose. This new device measures the glucose optically; Infra-Red light is beamed through the skin and the glucose molecules absorb it. Then a sound signal is created that is referred to as “the sweet sound of glucose”. This device is still in its test phase but the results look promising. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025123052.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+(Latest+Science+News+–+ScienceDaily)).

  3. I can’t believe this! This is indeed the future but I have my concerns about the information transfer. One example was that information gets send to an app, but not every person has a phone that can use apps (older generation, people in developing countries). Do you know what the other possibilities are or do these people need to use other methods to measure glucose like you mentioned in your reply to evelien?

  4. Pingback: Diabetics trending with wearable tech | Proteomics and the pathogenic mechanism of diabetes·

  5. Like with any new products that get on the market, the early-adaptors and people with money can usually be the first to try the newest developments in technological advancements. These new and modern ways of measuring your blood glucose, with an insulin pump, contact lens, IR-laser,… are all methods a small minority will use I think. I just hope that the technology with infiltrate developing countries as well may it be a while later.
    To answer your question about the mobile phone app. This technique, connecting your phone with a dedicated app to your insulin device, is rather an extra optional luxury. normally you get a monitor with the data showing on it. But why walk around with an extra monitor when you usually already have your phone with you? This is just a more user friendly approach.

  6. One of the members in our sports club also has diabetes (type 1). She had such an insulin pump, which she told me, was very(!) expensive (I don’t actually remember the exact price, but it was a lot more than a smartphone). Besides that it is common practice for these companies (of such pumps) to even provide a smartphone (perhaps exclusively for monitoring) along with the pump.

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