Saturday, 18 January 2014

Google Contact Lens Help Patients with Diabetes

Good news for diabetics everywhere! At this time, a new technology is offered by Google.

A convenient contact lens was developed to help diabetics monitor their blood sugar levels.

The prototype was revealed last January 16 and has much potential. It has the promise to replace the skin implants that continuously records the blood sugar levels. Doctors even hopes to dispose of the glucometer and many patients will be happy that they will not undergo anymore the agonizing and cumbersome blood extractions and finger pricks.

Google Contact Lens

The device has a small computer chip that contains a glucose sensor and a very thin antenna. This is implanted between the soft wearable contact lens. This so called “smart lens” is powered by tapping into radio waves in the air and sends data to a smart phone or other related devices.

 We all know that blood sugar levels change every minute depending on the activity and food intake of an individual. Especially for elderly and sick patients, sudden spike and drop of blood sugar is dangerous and may even be fatal! A regular monitoring is a must for those who have labile diabetes.

Continuous, regular monitoring of capillary blood glucose levels by finger pricking is doable but most of us really hate needles. The pain and difficulty in doing finger pricks is the most common cause of discontinuing blood sugar monitoring at home.

According to Google cofounders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, miniaturized electronics might be the way to solve this problem. This very small chips and sensor might solve the enigma of tear glucose and measure glucose precisely.

Random blood glucose testing is generally measured by obtaining a sample of capillary blood and the ideal method is of determining blood sugar is by venipuncture after an overnight fast.

However, it should be known that glucose can also found and measured in other body fluids such as the tears in the eyes. However, there might be a gap in the detection of sugar levels between the blood and the tears due to the continuous change in sugar levels. Thus, further studies are needed to determine the time interval in the detection and also to determine the factors that may affect glucose levels in the tears.

The idea is remarkable if it can be done said Dr Gerald Bernstein. It should be identified whether the device measures the glucose levels only in the tears outside of the eye or the aqueous humor.

The aqueous humor is the fluid that fills the space between the cornea and iris and it may be a much closer association with the blood sugar than the human tears. However, it is just a body fluid and has a different composition than blood.

Measuring aqueous humor glucose has been studied before and ghave found statistically significant corelatuon with blood glucose. The researchers measured the glucose level by using a low level laser that can send light through the fluid in the chamber of the eye. This was done in the intraoperative blood sugar monitoring of patients undergoing surgery.

 Bernstein said that Google’s revolutionary device is not that easy and may not be what everyone hopes for. However, it may be beneficial in the sense that it is more worthwhile than the current practice of blood glucose determination and monitoring.

 Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in the young hence the term juvenile diabetes. An estimated 3 million of Americans have Diabetes mellitus Type 1. This is an insulin requiring type of diabetes since the body does not produce insulin completely.
Dr Alvin Powers understood the enthusiasm behind the Google lens. A novel device will get much attention. He said that 99% of diabetics suffers and monitors their blood sugar levels by finger pricks because subcutaneous measuring devices are very costly and has to be adjusted regularly. The smart lens needs also to be calibrated on a regular basis for it to be beneficial.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting article Thanks for posting. I do not think I will use this but it does not matter. It is good to find many other ways to understand diabetes. Probably finally cure will be found.