Contact Lens Could Tell Diabetics When To Take Meds
Researcers are developing a contact lens whose clear sensors can measure glucose levels in teardrops and alert the wearer when medication is needed. The lenses are being developed for type 1 diabetics and are now in the final stages of development and testing.
“The lens will let people know when to give themselves injections and for patients wearing insulin pumps the signal can provide information for self-regulation,” says one of the lens' developers.
The researchers were originally developing sensors for an artificial pancreas.
The artificial pancreas is still under development, in a different lab, but the researchers working on its sensors realized that it could be used for detection and alerts as well. Since the sensors are clear and most diabetics wear glasses, the idea of contact lenses became the next step.
Development of the contact lens began in 2014 with a prototype being made that year. Although funding has become an issue for the developers, they are optimistic about the lens' potential for detecting more than just glucose levels. Eye diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other things with known biomarkers are all potential health issues that could be detected by the lens.