Novartis, Google team up on smart contact lenses

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Your tears might not show just your emotions anymore. Eye care company Alcon wants to make contacts that will measure your blood sugar using your tears.

Novartis, Alcon’s parent company, on Tuesday announced it has licensed so-called smart lens technology from Google Inc.

“We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs,” Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said in a news release. “This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye.”

Google contact lens could be option for diabetics

Novartis joins with Google to develop contact lens to monitor blood sugar (New York Times)

A team from Google and Alcon will work to develop and bring the contact lenses to market. When Google first discussed the smart lens technology in January, it estimated it might be five years before lenses would be available to the public.

“Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people,” said Sergey Brin, Co-Founder, Google. “We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”

Novartis plans to initially work on two applications: helping diabetic patients manage their blood sugar levels with a contact lens, and as part of a cataract treatment that restores a patient’s ability to autofocus.

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