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Google produces new diabetes test

A prototype has been developed by Google - the same company which also recently launched the optical browser Google Glass - using a miniature glucose sensor and a hair-thin wireless transmitter embedded in each lens. This is able to measure the glucose levels in the tears of the eye at an astonishing rate of up to once every second, without any interruption to the wearer's day-to-day activities. The device would therefore make glucose measurements much more convenient and far less painful - there's no sensation in the measurement being taken at all.

According to the Google X lab working on the device, it took years of soldering at a microscopic level to build the chips that make up what Google technicians say is the smallest wireless glucose sensor in the world.

The prototype was taken on by Google in response to the International Diabetes Foundation's assertion that the world is "losing the battle" against diabetes. The concept has been around for a number of years - French scientists discovered in the 1930s that glucose levels could be detected in the eyes, and over 80 years later in 2011 a team in Massachusetts showed off a tear sensor, which has since been modified to fit on a contact lens.

At this stage of development Google expects the device to reach consumers in about five years - there is still much to be done to ensure glucose levels are completely accurate, and new technologies are being released every day to help improve the contact lens further.


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