Novartis wins Google diabetes smart lens licence

Pharmaceutical company Novartis has agreed a deal with Google to develop its smart contact lens aimed at helping diabetics monitor their glucose levels.

The prototype lens, first revealed by the tech giant in January, is designed to measure glucose levels in an individual’s tears before relaying the information to a mobile device or computer.

In a move marking Google’s expansion into healthcare applications, it said the prototype has could generate a reading once per second through using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturised glucose sensors.

A time estimate for when the product will be ready to go to market has yet to be determined.

CEO of Swiss-based Novartis Joseph Jimenez said he believes the device goes beyond the realms of traditional disease management.

“This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye,” he said.

With cases of diabetes set to reach one in ten globally by 2035, experts predict consumer demand for new ways of monitoring glucose levels.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin added: “Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people.”