Contact Lenses Can Help Detect Blood Sugar Levels
The future looks bright for the contact lens industry as big plans for developments are announced. A study conducted at the University of Akron suggests that contact lenses could be used to help diabetics monitor their blood sugar levels.
The image of the futuristic half-human, half robot with a computer for an eye brought to us by movies and science fiction is closer to reality than ever before. Researchers recently announced plans to use contact lenses for advanced medical eye care
in a way that has never been seen before. Scientists have developed a contact lens that monitors the wearer's blood sugar levels and changes colour accordingly. This could be of use to diabetics who at the moment have to check their blood sugar level via a skin prick test that is both time consuming and inconvenient but with monitoring contact lenses people would be able to instantly tell whether their levels are what they should be, giving them greater control over the disease.
The process is very simple, the contact lens detects whether glucose is concentrating at abnormal levels and then changes colour warning the user of the change in the levels. Not only is this process useful for people who have diabetes, it could also be used in detecting the early stages of the disease. If detected early, it is possible to slow the advancement of the disease. Detecting blood sugar level via contact lenses
is a very cost-effective way to monitor and help with the management of the disease. As at the moment, the wearer can detect the change in colour only by looking at the mirror, Dr. Jun Hu, the main researcher on the study says the developers are also working on a phone application that would enable the user to check the level of their blood sugar by taking a picture of themselves on their phone after which the application would detect the levels from the picture of the contact lens.
These kind of developments are part of a so-called “mobile health”-movement, giving people more freedom and control over their health due to technological advancements. Other advancements include mobile applications developed to monitor health, as well as a myriad of sensors gathering data and sharing information with the user, some of which would be embedded with the body. Contact lenses are at the forefront of this new health revolution, driven by a desire to give people freedom over their health.