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Google Partners with Novartis on Smart Lenses

The new technology could help diabetics more easily track their glucose levels.

Tech company Google (you may have heard of it) isn't only stepping into glasses—it's stepping right into your eyes. On Monday, Google announced a partnership with Novartis, an international pharmaceutical company, to license Google's "smart lenses"—aimed at helping diabetic patients track their glucose levels.

"We wondered if miniaturized electronics—think chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy," said the project's co-founders on Google’s official blog in January.

This comes on the heels of the announcement of Google Fit last month, a competitor to Apple's HealthKit, to track all of your fitness and health needs. 

The prototypes for the lenses are capable of taking a glucose level sample every second. "We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds," the project leads explained.

Not only could this be a huge breakthrough in wearable tech, but it also serves a slightly more noble purpose than seeing your Facebook notifications as fast as possible. Google is in talks with the FDA regarding its approval of the lenses, and “plan[s] to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market. These partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor.”

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