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Google builds smart contact lens to measure glucose levels for diabetics

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Alexei Oreskovic

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Google's next wearable smart device

Google is working on a smart contact lens prototype that monitors glucose levels in tears. The technology could end finger pricks for diabetics.

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Google is testing a new method for diabetics to monitor their blood-sugar levels by wearing a contact lens equipped with tiny chips and an antenna.

Google said a prototype of its "smart contact lens" can generate a reading of a tear's glucose level every second, potentially replacing the need for people with diabetes to prick their fingers and test drops of blood throughout the day.

"We're in discussions with the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration], but there's still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use," Google said in a blog post.

Google said it planned to find partners, "who are experts in bringing products like this to market".

The projects co-foundres, Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, said they are also exploring the integration of tiny LED lights that light up to indicate glucose levels that are either too high or too low.

The world's largest internet search engine, Google is developing a variety of new technologies outside its core business, including self-driving cars and balloons that beam wireless internet to remote regions of the world.

Google has also become more focused on health-related issues, launching a separate company in September devoted to tackling diseases related to ageing.

Reuters