Researchers have developed a smart contact lens capable of monitoring glucose levels, according to a study published in Science Advances.
While advancements in wearable health devices have already integrated themselves into contact lens, researchers believe the lens addresses previous barriers to proper utilization. Unlike other "smart" lenses, this device is soft and the electronics within it are more stable. Collecting data from the eye and tear fluid, the smart lens is soft and unnoticeable in terms of vision.
The glucose monitoring capabilities of the smart lens also extends to real-time wireless monitoring. With an imbedded LED, the device emits a light when glucose levels are too high. The light, which can be shown into the wearers eye or outward, could also be used in screening for prediabetes.
"The integration of this display into the smart lens eliminates the need for additional, bulky measurement equipment," wrote first author Jihun Park and colleagues. "The resulting soft, smart contact lens provides real-time, wireless operation, and there are in vivo tests to monitor the glucose concentration in tears (suitable for determining the fasting glucose level in the tears of diabetic patients) and, simultaneously, to provide sensing results through the contact lens display."