Google’s CEO announced that the company will not enter the area of health services because the regulations are too tight to provide innovation at the fast pace that Google is used to. It seems that the Google Smart Contact Lens project proves otherwise. Google’s devices are already embraced by the market. A London-based start-up developed a Google Glass brain control app which might prove beneficial for people with speech impediments.
On Tuesday, Google made an agreement with Alcon, the European drug maker Novartis’ eye care unit. Alcon will use Google’s smart contact lens prototype to develop a device to track glucose levels. Alcon will work to adapt the device which contains miniature sensors and a very thin antenna. Financial details and a timeframe for a final product have not been released yet. Novartis is expected to worth $12 billion by 2017, according to Reuters.com. Right now, there is an estimated number of 382 million people all over the world suffering from diabetes, so potential clients.
Google Smart Contact Lens was a part of Google’s plan since early this year
Google announced the lens and its characteristics back in January. The main objective, measuring the glucose level, was a part of the project. Now, Alcon, with its medical background, will be able to adapt the device for proper medical use.
“By combining Alcon’s leadership in eye care and expertise in contact lenses and intraocular lenses with Google’s innovative “smart lens” technology and groundbreaking speed in research, we aim to unlock a new frontier to jointly address the unmet medical needs of millions of eye care patients around the world.”, Jeff George, division head of Alcon, stated.
The new technology will have diabetics as primary target group. But the Google Smart Contact Lens will have the opportunity to serve other patients as well, as long as the eye can be the victim of other diseases too.
The health and fitness sector is very appealing for Google, as well as for other companies. Wearables will soon be a part of our everyday life. Google plans to make the best out of the new Android Wear OS. Apple already started assembling a similar platform specifically targeting health services called HealthKit. Google Smart Contact Lens has all the prerequisites to turn into a real success. By combining Google’s expertise in micro hardware devices and Alcon’s background in medical care, the new technological breakthrough will serve millions and people. Moreover, it will set a powerfull example of how the newest technology developed initially outside medical research labs can be adapted to provide health care.