Google Partners With Novartis to Bring Smart Contact Lenses One Step Closer

Hand+holding+-+zoomed+inGoogle has partnered with Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in an effort to speed up development of their smart contact lenses that can aid diabetics.

The lenses, which were first unveiled by the search company in January, use sensors sandwiched between two soft layers to measure the glucose levels in the wearers tears, then transmit this information wirelessly to connected smartphones. Google has said it hopes the technology will remove the need for regular, painful blood tests for diabetics around the world.

In addition to helping diabetics manage their disease, Novartis believes the technology can be modified to help those suffering from age-associated vision loss. The company said that by combining its manufacturing resources with Googles expertise in miniaturised technology it can create contact lenses that can “help restore the eyes natural autofocus on near objects”.

Novartis says it hopes the technology will provide an alternative to glasses and regular contact lenses, with the possibility of “intraocular lenses” that are inserted permanently into the eye to correct vision. The smart lens technology was originally developed by the Google X team, the companys cutting edge research and development lab that has also developed its self-driving cars and Google Glass.