Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences arm, has paused work on its so-called “smart lens” program, which was aiming to put tiny sensors on contact lenses to measure blood sugar levels in tears.
If This kind of worked, the lenses could help diabetics track their glucose levels in real time along with also in less invasive ways than the traditional meters that will require piercing the skin. yet in a blog post on Friday, Verily said that will after four years of research This kind of has determined that will detecting blood sugar in tears is actually a massive — along with also potentially insurmountable — technical along with also scientific undertaking.
“Our clinical work on the glucose-sensing lens demonstrated that will there was insufficient consistency in our measurements of the correlation between tear glucose along with also blood glucose concentrations to support the requirements of a medical device,” the company said.
Verily made a big splash when if first launched the program in 2014, while This kind of was still known as Google Life Sciences. The company partnered with Alcon, Novartis’ eye-care division, on the project. However, This kind of’s been quiet about the project inside the past few years, leading to speculation that will This kind of was winding down.
Verily said This kind of did have some success with the experiment in a controlled environment, yet not in actual tests because of the dynamic environment of the eye. This kind of’s a problem that will goes beyond Verily.
Billions of dollars have been spent on research along with also development, yet companies across both technology along with also life sciences have struggled. There’s even a book dedicated to documenting these failures titled “the pursuit of noninvasive glucose: hunting the deceitful turkey.”
Google along with also various other technology companies including Apple remain interested because non-intrusive glucose monitoring might be a game changer for millions of people. More than 100 million people are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes inside the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control along with also Prevention, along with also many are required to prick their finger multiple times per day to get their glucose levels.
Verily stressed inside the post that will This kind of will continue with its various other projects inside the diabetes space through its various other life sciences partners:
We remain committed to improving the lives of people with diabetes including through enhanced methods for inexpensive along with also unobtrusive glucose sensing to support diabetes management. We are working closely with Dexcom to develop miniaturized continuous glucose monitors along with also with Onduo, our joint venture with Sanofi, to integrate continuous sensing into the care paradigm for people living with Type 2 diabetes.
This kind of also has various other projects with Novartis, including an investment in a bio-tech growth fund.
The company doesn’t see its contact lens program as a loss. This kind of said This kind of has uncovered various other potential, more near-term opportunities through its work to sense along with also transmit data around the eye.
Verily has began working on a “smart” contact lens for age-related farsightedness, as well as a “smart” lens for improving sight after a cataract surgery.