Smart lens to transform healthcare & medical devices industry dynamics

In a study that plausibly has the potential to alter the healthcare and medical devices industry landscape, health researchers of South Korea have claimed to have come up with smart contact lens technology that can track blood sugar levels without the need of drawing blood.

As per reports, researchers from the Sungkyunkwan University and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) have claimed to design a smart contact lens that will have a glucose sensor, stretchable antennae and an LED display to inform the user about sugar levels in the blood. Despite the inclusion of numerous components, the lens will apparently be comfortable to wear and as inconspicuous as a normal contact lens is.

Apparently, researchers at the Oregon State University had conducted similar studies in the past to bypass the current methods of detecting blood sugar levels that involve pricking fingertips to draw blood or placing electrodes under the skin, both of which are painful procedures. These smart contact lenses on the other hand, have been predicted to be a huge step in the healthcare and medical devices industry, as they would be the first noninvasive devices for continuous blood sugar level monitoring through tears in the eyes. Gregory Herman, co-author of the study conducted at the Oregon University, explained that the lens is made of indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO), the same material used in smartphones to enhance touchscreen sensitivity. The contact lens is also reported to encompass several layers of IGZO transistors, which will measure glucose through fluctuations in the electric currents flowing through the lens. The transmitters can then wirelessly send the information to smartphones.

These smart contact lens are still in the preliminary stages of development and have only been tested on animals. According to researchers, testing on humans is still quite a bit further into the future as the technology requires fine tuning before it can be used on humans. However, it is believed that with their eventual release, they will have the potential to revolutionize healthcare and medical devices industry.