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Google Innovators Working On Smart Lens For Diabetics

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DENVER (CBS4) – Every few hours, Logan Page has to stop what he’s doing to check his blood sugar level.

“I shoot for 6 to 8 times on a normal day,” Page told CBS4.

He’s been sticking his finger and testing his blood since he was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8.

“It bothers you in terms of nobody likes poking their finger that much, but you just kind of come to understand that it’s something you have to do to make sure you’re healthy,” Page explained.

Dr. Mike McDermott is director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes unit at the University of Colorado. He calls blood testing for sugar levels one of the biggest advancements in diabetes care. It was developed in the 1980s and allowed doctors and patients to keep accurate information for the first time.

“That’s very important for us to prevent lows … to prevent highs … to keep glucose under good control,” McDermott told CBS4.

Now the innovators at Google are hoping to make finger sticks a thing of the past. They want to make checking your blood sugar as easy as putting in a contact lens.

“I would love to have a different way to test your blood sugar,” Page said.

The company wouldn’t do an interview about the technology, but gave us information about Smart Lens. The technology is smaller than glitter and thinner than a human hair. It’s a tiny glucose sensor, chip and antennae imbedded between two layers of lens. It reads glucose levels in your tears every second, relaying near real time information to a computer or smartphone.

“Then we would have a painless and hopefully accurate way of having real time blood glucose levels. That, I think, would be another big advance,” said McDermott.

The Smart Lens is still in the testing phase, but Google has completed several studies on the comfort and functionality of the lens. The company is working with the Food and Drug Administration now about ways to bring the lenses to market.

- Written for CBSDenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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