Contact lenses to help diagnose various medical conditions are uncommon but not unheard of. Google, though, is now talking about building contact lenses with wireless sensors that can track the chemical composition of tears.
That’s not some evil conspiracy to control all of the internet’s endpoints. It turns out to be important in fighting diabetes. Sufferers need to track their blood glucose levels closely, and scientists think that the glucose level in tears is particularly informative. Tears are hard to gather — there’s only so many sad movies you can watch in a clinical setting — so measuring them in situ is useful.
Google’s Google[x] research group has developed contact lenses with tiny sensors. wireless transmitters, and antennae embedded between layers of soft contact-lens plastic. It measures glucose levels once a second. Any kind of production and testing would require FDA approval, of course, not to mention research and manufacturing partners.
The medical implications are clear. Glucose levels, measured with the lenses, that go out of whack could trigger either an alarm or a wearable insulin pump (or both), obviating painful and possibly-too-infrequent finger sticks. Very cool, very forward-thinking.