Monday, January 27, 2014

Google Smart Lenses

The only time I can honestly remember finger sticks bothering me was when I first was diagnosed with diabetes. I remember asking the doctor which was the least painful device to use and went out and bought it that same day. My mom and I sat in my living at my apartment for hours while I tried to coax up the nerve to stick myself.  I was so dramatic to the point of telling my mom, that I was fine letting diabetes take my life if it meant I didn’t have to stick my finger. I was 18 and sounded like a 12 year old, I know, pathetic right? My poor mom was in tears because I so upset about it all. I finally got brave held the device in my hand pressed it up against my finger and clicked the trigger. And, it wasn’t that bad. I looked up at my mom with tears in my eyes and laughed at how ridiculous I was.

Down the road I started to do less and less, not because it was painful, but because it was a hassle. I will never forget the day my doctor told me I had to take better care of myself and put some time into my diabetes. I looked right at him, and scoffed that he was crazy and just needed to cure this because with my work and school schedules, diabetes was just in the way. It was so time consuming to plan what you were eating, check your numbers, give myself and shot, wait a few minutes, and then eat. Then two hours later have to stick my finger again and do a correction if needed. At the time it was not painful, just plain annoying. But I knew I had to do it because I didn’t and still don’t want to lose my limbs.

After another year of living with diabetes my doctor and I were still arguing over how frequently I was checking and she finally told me about a new device called a continuous glucose monitor. It was as if she showed the holy grail, this thing checked my sugars 26 times a day and I only had to worry about sticking my finger twice a day and my little device wouldn’t let me forget to do it. I couldn’t believe how amazing technology was getting in the diabetes world and could not have been happier about it.  

I have lived with diabetes for 8 years now and they are finally working on technology to eliminate the finger sticks altogether. I was watching the news the other morning when a news story came on talking about Google’s smart contact lenses. I have heard of scientists doing research on testing your blood sugars through your saliva and tears, but never thought I would actually see the day! In the Google X lab, Google has developed a tiny chip that fits between two sheets of your contact lenses material. The chip will be able to check your blood sugar once every second. They are working on ways to help tell the person wearing the lenses where their blood sugar levels are. One way they are working on is using an LED light that would light up when blood sugars were out of range. They are also looking at building an app for the contact lenses to communicate with for the person wearing them as well has a way to have documented blood sugar levels to provide to your physician.


These lenses are still in their early stages of development and Google is working on more way to improve the prototype as well as working with the FDA to make sure that the contact lenses can be and will be approved for people to wear. As of right now they are thinking these won’t be on the market for another 5 years, but to me I think it’s worth the wait.

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