The device for diabetics would measure glucose in tear fluid
Novartis explained that the device for diabetics would measure glucose in tear fluid and send the data wirelessly to a mobile device. The technology is potentially life-changing for many diabetics, as it will save them from pricking their fingers daily. Non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturised electronics would be embedded into the contact lenses.
According to reports, as per the agreement, Novartis's Alcon eyecare unit will further develop and commercialize the lens technologies designed by Google. However, any financial details were not disclosed.
The alliance comes as drug makers explore ways for technology to reshape healthcare, helping patients to monitor their own health and lowering the costs of managing chronic diseases. Novartis chief executive Mr Joe Jimenez said that he hoped that a product could be on the market in about five years.
"This really brings high-technology and combines it with biology, and that's a very exciting combination for us," He said. "I think you're going to see more and more areas of unmet medical needs being met, where companies like Novartis are going to take a non-traditional approach to addressing those needs." he added
Although the licensing deal is only for the eye, he said that the drug maker was also thinking about how technology can be applied in other areas, such as remote patient monitoring in heart failure.