172 Comments

Summary:

One in 19 people in this world have diabetes. Many of them are poor, live outside of the US and have access to very little resources, both financial and medical. I question the wisdom of Google chasing the smart contact lens instead of something more pragmatic.

Diabetic patient doing glucose level blood test

One in 19 people on this planet have diabetes. I am one.

About four to six times a day I am reminded of many things — my genetics, my disgusting smoking habit (which I have kicked) and my (now modified) terrible eating habits that have led me to where I am today. I prick the skin on one of my fingers, take a droplet of blood, put it on a tiny strip that is attached to my AccuCheck Glucose meter, and make a note in a little black book. At some point during the day I have to take insulin shots so I can get through my day; doing the things that 18 of 19 people get to do without that extra help. I have to watch everything I eat: one extra macaroon or not taking a walk before going to bed can cause mood swings and lead to other complications. But like I said, it is a mess of my own making.

Just to give you a size and scope of the diabetes problem, I quote from a recent report from  Credit Suisse Research Institute which estimates that “close to 400 million people worldwide are affected by type II diabetes alone – a number that is quickly rising” and the “associated costs for the global healthcare system are estimated at a staggering $376 billion every year, representing over 10 percent of all healthcare costs.” By 2020 this could be a disease that impacts 500 million people and the costs “could rise to a whopping $700 billion,” the study said.

So when I read about Google’s “smart contact lens project,” which allows these lenses to measure blood sugar levels, for a very brief instant I was excited. It seemed like that finally we are getting to a place where needles, blood-soaked alcohol swabs and cotton balls are going to be history.

Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.

We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds. It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.

Google glucose testing contact lens

Reality Check

But after the initial excitement was over, cold reality set in. It also prompted me to ask the question: why is it that a company with such good intentions fails to ask itself very basic of questions, something a normal human being would ponder before embarking on a scientific quest?

For example,  why would they ignore the fact that as a diabetes patient, it is generally recommended that I not wear contact lenses. Yes, I understand that there are many different opinions about this, but it is generally thought of as smart to not wear contact lenses, as they always carry the risk of increased complications for diabetics. And on top of that if you have say, astigmatism (like I do), then contacts are less of an option.

racediabetesnumbers

Never mind the big fact that most of the people who do suffer from diabetes (Type II) tend to get it because of poor diet, most often because of lack of better diet options due to increased economic and financial stratification of our society. Diabetes is a growing problem in countries in South Asia and parts of Asia and Latin America, especially among those who fit in the lower income category; you know, the kind of people who might find contact lenses an expensive luxury. The less financially fortunate among us are very same group who are much more likely to not monitor their blood sugar levels due to work conditions and financial limitations.

I emailed Google’s press relations department — about 12 hours ago — asking them to elaborate on why the researchers took this specific approach. Yes, as a diabetic, I appreciate the efforts of Google in general and specifically Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, the project smart contact lens co-founders, just as I appreciate every effort made by every scientist and doctor around the world trying to tackle one of the worst diseases to afflict the post-industrial society.

Tone deaf?

And yet, I cannot get over what seems to me a tone-deaf approach by Google’s scientists. It also highlights Google’s fundamental challenge: it fails to think about people as people, instead it treats them as an academic or an engineering problem. Instead of trying to understand the needs of actual people, they emerge with an elegant technological solution.

It is not just this one time. Google+, their social network, is a fail because it fundamentally isn’t social or about people — it is an effort to solve Google’s need for social data for better advertising using machines. Similarly, Google Glasses are a cringe-worthy assault to the social interactions of normals, but because a certain subset of Googlers — including co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page — have a cyborg fetish, it is okay to make that design. It is frustrating for me to keep repeating this, because Google is a company with huge resources and those resources could be deployed more effectively and have a much more positive impact, more quickly. And to do that, the company needs to learn to be human and develop compassion for human condition.

As a diabetic, the only solution I am looking for is non-invasive and one that keeps me in a state of constant alertness about my blood sugar levels while matching that data with advice about what I should do.

Instead of trying to develop a contact lens that will still be quite expensive for many of the world’s poor, diabetic patients, why not focus all monetary and intellectual energies towards developing a more simpler solution that can be built at scale, very cheaply? Why not take the open source ethos and develop a product that actually be given away to anyone — say, emerging world pharmaceutical companies — who wants to manufacture it cheaply? The licensing terms could/should include the Tom’s Shoes Principle: buy one, give one away for free to someone who cannot afford them.

Instead of contact lenses, how about Google’s mighty X-machine focus its microscopic chip approach that Otis and Parviz are taking on a patch that can be applied to the skin — akin to a nicotine patch. The patch could carry the chip and send data to nearest phone — be it a smartphone or a cheap feature phone — and alert diabetics when there are major spikes or declines in blood sugar levels. These would be easier to use, cheaper to product and much more easily distributed.  It is a moonshot, and totally worth it.

Sure, it would lack the whiz-bang nature of the smart contact lenses, but it would be something I would welcome with a big grin and a credit card while thanking my stars and Google for having developed that. It’s not that I am not unappreciative of the impact that these contact lens breakthroughs might have in a few years. But another few years would mean another 100 million fellow humans suffering from something I live with everyday.

sweetworld

  1. aarondfrancis Friday, January 17, 2014

    Hey Om, good thoughts. As a type 1 diabetic myself, I feel that this is definitely a step in the right direction, if not the end of the journey. For example, I fully expect Google Glass to kind of suck when they first come out, but I have a hard time looking 5 years down the road and seeing them (or other models) still being terrible. Similarly, I think these contacts will *work* when they first come out, but will be expensive and far from perfect. But if they can get them out there, then we can test them, refine them, and then some 15 year old kid (they’re always 15, why is that?) will come up with a way to make them for super cheap. It has to start somewhere though. I can’t wait to try them out, they would change my life.

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    1. As a type one diabetic myself, I completely agree with this comment. These would be life changing for me.

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      1. I think you guys are ignoring everything Om said here. But even he didn’t mention all the reasons why this is a bad idea.

        How much work is it to wear contacts? It’s a lot of work! Diabetics can’t wear long term contacts. If they do wear them, they must take them out at least one time every day for some time. Preferably more than that, to give the eye some time to recover. They certainly can’t wear “permanent”. Contacts, for days at a time.

        Cleaning contacts properly, with the correct solution is very important for anyone wearing them, but is especially important for diabetics. Some cleaning fluids may not be proper for a diabetic, as they may cause a reaction.

        Overall, it could be more work wearing contacts for this purpose than using the increasingly advanced tools that can be obtained currently, and in the future, some of which may not require pricking a finger for blood.

        Then there is the question of what percentage of people need contacts. If you don’t, are you going to wear these just for this purpose? I don’t think a lot of people would want that.

        In addition, it’s nice for you guys to think this would work for you at some point, but you are just a small subset of diabetics. As Om mentioned, most diabetics can’t afford a doctor’s visit, much less these contacts, even if they are eventually cheaper than they would be now.

        Overall, a bad idea.

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        1. Surely you’re not actually considering the work to take them out once per day and do a decent job of cleaning to be a dealbreaker here — are you?

          I have worn prescription contact lenses for 20 years and taken them off every day for a total of 7300 days or 14600 times I’ve stood at the sink to take them out or put them in. And I gladly do it, even though it’s not a literal life saver and I could wear glasses if I had to.

          So, yeah, I think that plenty of people will consider that a small price to pay to add years to their life through better monitoring, even if they “must take them out at least one time every day” and can’t wear “permanent” contacts.

          By the way, even with contacts that can be worn over night, you don’t want to. My eyes need a break after a day of wear, and if I fall asleep with them, my eyes dry out and the contacts suction onto my eyes. Not pleasant! So I’ll just keep on putting them on and taking them off every day, just for a bit of convenience.

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    2. As a type 1, I consider technologies like this potential life-changers. I use an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and a diabetic alert dog (alerts me to highs and lows – pretty cool). I can echo Om’s sentiment – it’s a real pain to have to manage something like this every day, making so many adjustments in my lifestyle just to maximize my time in the ‘normal’ range without encountering uncomfortable and potentially fatal insulin overdoses.

      Perhaps distinguishing between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes would help a bit here. Type 1 diabetes isn’t disproportionately diagnosed in different socio-economic groups as Type 2 is (so far as I know). And it’s not caused by lifestyle or diet issues (clearly related to the previous statement). For a Type 1, other than dietary advice and a flexible schedule, fancy machines really do make a world of a difference. I am privileged to be able to afford all of this expensive stuff (pump, CGM, adequate supplies of other kinds) and to be able to see doctors regularly. I know (as an American living in England right now) that even post-industrial, socialized healthcare systems struggle to provide this kind of stuff to people at reasonable costs. So no, this kind of tech isn’t a big solution right now. Of course, as Aaron points out, we need to see how the technology develops. As with CGM techs, first adopters will be wealthier and will be buying costlier, crappier techs at first. But things may get efficient, both in terms of production and in terms of quality.

      Returning to the question of diabetics generally, I wholeheartedly agree with Om that if Google wants to make the biggest difference for diabetics as a group, so mostly Type 2 diabetics like Om, this is not the way to do it. Especially considering what Om brought up – economic stratification and issues like plain-old food availability that fancy contacts won’t solve. If Google is interested in cyborg-style techs, then they can help some diabetics a lot (I would absolutely wear contacts if they helped a lot with my BG control). But if the Google mission is to help the larger population of diabetics, Type 2s, then they won’t be able to do it this way. It doesn’t seem like this low-tech project is their mission, however.

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      1. My son is Type 1 diagnosed at 4 not 15 he is 14 now. I do find the advances in technology reassuring but this is unrealistic. My son has good vision and why would I want him to place contacts in his eyes when he does not need them to see properly. This poses exposing his eyes to infections, irritations, that in a diabetics can have adverse effects and cause more problems. I am a nurse as well and wonder of the actual accuracy of tears in comparison to blood. As many of you know with your CGM they may not be accurate all the time and you have to monitor your blood sugars to maintain calibration. The research is encouraging but I am waiting for the CURE for TYPE 1 now that money I will gladly invested in and I would give my pancreas if I could and I KNEW he would not have to live with TYPE 1, I would live with diabetes over him ANY DAY.

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    3. I absolutely agree with you aarondfrancis — for Type 1/Juvenile diabetics – and I think that it’s pretty important to point out to people that Type 1 is NOT caused by poor living habits – For Type 1 people, this is a true game changer. My very athletic and active teen was recently diagnosed with Type 1 and this would improve the quality of his life tremendously. The author of this article clearly has Type 2, caused by poor eating and smoking habits and should have articulated the giant difference in the two types in this article. This oversight always bothers me tremendously, as Type 1/Juvenile and Type 2 are completely different.

      For healthy kids who, through absolutely NO fault or poor habits get Type 1, these lenses would be fantastic and I would be first in line to buy them for my child.

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  2. Twat, google are a tech company, you might as well wonder why general motors dont develop a solution unrelated to cars

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    1. Krod

      I don’t understand your point, elaborate please.

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      1. Your article also demonstrates your limited understand of how the world works

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        1. Right. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

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          1. Not sure i have, doubt if anyone can

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            1. I believe the question is, what specifically would you say or suggest? I have a guess as to what it might be, but perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised when you come back with an excellent, knowledgeable answer.

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            2. Suggestion ?, i was simply making a point, and a fairly obvious one at that

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            3. So you simply want to criticize him because he said something about Google that wasn’t outrageously positive? Ok, we get it.

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            4. No you dont

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            5. Yes, we do.

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            6. In your little world

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          2. Wow, Krud sure knows a lot about twats, except how to identify others.
            Sorry about your affliction, but if you live in North America, I’m not at all surprised. Everything including water appears to have insane amounts of some type of sucrose or HFCS. After recently holidaying in the states for 4 1/2 weeks, I put on 3 kilos and still only had 1 1/2 to 2 meals a day and walked 100 or so blocks a day, mostly not even finishing the ridiculously large portions. Finding fresh or even interesting food was very difficult as a tourist with little spare time. I don’t know how the locals cope with this onslaught from the “food” manufacturing conglomerates trying to poison the nation. I suppose they’re working with the pharmaceuticals to produce a nation dependent on their treatments.
            Then there’s the Monsantos and their frankenfoods trying to lock out or sue out of existence, the normal family farms and food chains of last century.
            BTW, a big hello to the NSA and co, guardians of their corporate friends. Maybe I should have misspelled Moresanto.

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            1. Head up your arse, i repeat, google are a tech company dont expect them to behave like anything else.

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            2. patch on skin with sensor communicating with smartphone IS a technical product fitting a TECH company. A more sensible one than a lenses.

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            3. I know. I sometimes wonder why people like you leave their utopias in countries that they never name to visit the backward North Americans.

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            4. You are overreacting. Food in the USA is indeed scandalously bad.

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            5. because there are many great things in the USA. but not all. like everywhere.

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            6. @Krod,

              One day you’ll wake up and realize that tech companies need to make products for real people. Of course, Google isn’t really a tech company. They’re an advertising company and toward that end they spy on you more than the NSA dare even dream. They’re spying is more dangerous to you because it can directly affect your job prospects.

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            7. And if they dont make products for real people they wont remain a tech company or any sort of company for long, so not sure why you think they dont/wont

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            8. Wherever you may claim to come from Art, rest assured that your country is just as “bad”, or even worse. Those countries that have expressed “surprise” that the NSAs propping, have been shown to have programs that are as much, or even more, intrusive.

              And if you can’t find fresh food here, I can easily call you out for BS.

              So, what paradise are you from?

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    2. Google is an advertising company … but they could advert those blood-sugar contacts – I guess.

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      1. They are increasingly becoming an all round consumer technology company. The days of Google being an advertising company are quickly coming to an end.

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        1. I think the point about their being an advertising company is that they make very little money (esp profits) outside of advertising.

          And this isn’t just relative to their advertising numbers. The absolute revenues (and profits, if they even exist) are minuscule.

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        2. Google is a Ad company first and foremost.

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      2. Heck, they could run their advertising IN the contacts.

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        1. Jenny Reiswig Sunday, January 19, 2014

          Ding ding ding. Google wants to get patents on technology for contact lens transmission of data. I kinda doubt that there would be contact lens projection into your eye in the near future, but a first step might be to have on-eye control of a Google Glass type display.

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          1. Of course, can you imagine the advantages to them to have the information of millions of diabetics? That information would be worth a lot.

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    3. ACME Sales Rep. Saturday, January 18, 2014

      I’m quite certain that GM considers how humans might use their cars during the design process, krod. Despite being a car company, they do understand that their products are rather pointless without an end user.

      Now perhaps you could explain why being a “tech company” (really an advertising company, but we can ignore that for the purposes of this discussion) Google would not want to do the same, nor how this illustrates some deep secret of how the world works.

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      1. Because GM, Apple, GE and other companies that make their money from real products need that information in order to make better, more relevant products. That makes a lot of sense.

        Google needs that information to sell to advertising companies, which is where they make their money.

        For GM, Apple, GE and other product companies, the product is the end game, and the collecting of information is a step towards that. But for Google, the advertising, and sale of our personal information is the end game, and their so called products is the step towards that.

        It has to be understood, that we are not their customers, even if we do buy a Google “product”. We are Google users, and part of that product, or rather, our personal information, is the product.

        These contacts are no different. Google doesn’t really care about diabetics, they care about the value of the information this would provide to Google, that they can sell for a profit. Any benefit to the user would depend on whether that benefit would also benefit Google. So if a pharmaceutical company said that there was other data they needed, and would ve willing to pay for, Google would add that “feature” tor the device or service, acting as though it was for the users benefit.

        Now, indirectly, it could eventually benefit the users, if something helpful could be develioped from that data. But everyone using that would be an unconsenting member of a long term study that would be saving these companies hundreds of millions of dollars.

        What happens to medical confidentiality here? Supposedly, this data would be anonymized. But as we know, it would be easily compromised, especially if an Android device was used to collect, and transmit this data.

        Do we really want that?

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      2. Not sure its a deep secret, just an obvious one, tech companies behave like tech companies, to expect then to do otherwise is daft, and thats one of the ways the world works

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        1. “tech company” is a meaningless distinction here in 2014, and using that phrase to describe Google betrays a VAST misunderstanding of both how the world works and how Google works

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          1. Youve missed the point, which is that companies of whatever kind behave like companies of whatever kind, not like something they are not, thats one of the ways the world works whether its liked or not

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  3. Nice posting Om and some very good points.
    If you would like to have a chance at reversing your diabetes check out the Reversing Diabetes page on Facebook.
    Many of us have done just that through a low carb diet.

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  4. BenjaminGilead Friday, January 17, 2014

    Yea Om, you will never give Google a break. Whenever they announce something you’ll find a way to crack them. Remember this is just a test, they are not product yet. Google might be trying to gather data to improve it through testing.

    Yea I understand they are not Apple.

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    1. Shame that the same researcher announced much the same thing for Microsoft in 2011.

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    2. This is not about Apple and Google. Seriously. That is for another day.

      What they are trying to do — even that is not clear. They don’t state their intentions, except some ambiguous statements. My point on this — so many smart people, so much money, so much effort — why not approach the problem in a more pragmatic way. Maybe I am harsh on them, but then they want to do “moonshots” and I am pointing out another approach.

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      1. I really believe that their entire reason for existance is to find ways to collect more date. Every “product” they come out with is aimed at that. It’s useful to a consumer, otherwise they wouldn’t use, or buy them, and Google’s purpose couldn’t then be fulfilled. But Google doesn’t seem to be interested in products per se. Much of what they do is for publicity, to gain positive public reaction, and positive write ups.

        I’m sorry, but this is very much about Google, what they do, and why. I don’t blame companies for “moonshot” products. It’s the purpose of those products that I question. Google is very deceptive, and the press is very accepting of what they do, rarely criticizing them for anything.

        If almost any other large company came out with a medical device that would transmit personal data as this would, it wouldn’t bother me too much, but when Google does it, it bothers me a great deal.

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        1. Oh no! They will collect data about ocular glucose and use it to serve ads for McFlurries at the appropriate blood sugar levels!

          I didn’t immediately realize that Gruber linked me to Kubrick and not tech, but the levels of FUD here have literally reached “precious bodily fluids” levels.

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      2. Louis Dalesio Sunday, January 19, 2014

        There it is!!! You have no idea what they are doing nor there approach. Interesting that you you are so confident in your assumptions that you would dedicate an article to their short-comings. How are you so sure that the contact wouldn’t be made of a material that you could wear all day! Do contacts lenses not advance? Perhaps be grateful for whatever insight their research may provide and focus your ire on those charged with the task of actually finding a cure. It is no more Google’s task to manage your diabetes than it is BMW’s to get your hair to grow, even if they they choose to dabble in that field.

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      3. What I believe is that they are approaching it initially as a wearable computer but along a way discovered the possibility of having application in aiding diabetic patients. As mentioned in the article, they are “investigating the potential ” of said application. The original aim of the project was probably never targeted at diabetic. This is pretty common in the field of research and development, some times you just stumbled upon unexpected new possibility where well might seem like a great idea at first but probably not if more time is spend into it, as what you have pointed out.

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      4. Google is not a medical company. Their job is not to alleviate or manage diabetes. They’re not qualified to do so.

        What they are is a tech company, one which is focusing R&D on wearable technology. This is one such application of wearable technology.

        That it doesn’t suit you personally or alleviate the plight of poverty-stricken diabetics is irrelevant, and is just as absurd as complaining about Apple and Nike working on toys related to cardiovascular exercise instead of launching a nationwide healthy living campaign.

        Who knows what this will lead to? The first steps towards pacemakers were made half a century before they became viable and useful.

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    3. Funny how the google boosters can’t even spell colloquialisms like yeah, or was it meant to be ye (olde english). Who knows? Who cares? Poor google, give ‘em a break Om, they mean no harm….do they? Hows your google plus spam going?

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      1. Fart

        As flaubert wrote in his letter to turgenev, it is not for the greatest, but for the lesser masters, to compose models of style.

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    4. Whatever Apple comes up with will be better and Google and Samsung will copy that is a given. Another Google Moonshot!

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    5. “Remember this is just a test, they are not product yet. ”

      THAT is exactly the issue: WHEN they will do a _product_ to sell and improve people’s tools ?

      Google Glass should be one, google cars too, that lenses too. but NO, it’s just AGAIN a “a test to gather data to improve it through testing”

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  5. ReadTheFinePrint Friday, January 17, 2014

    Very well said Om.
    The other thing that concerns me is that there is no data at the moment to support tear glucose level being a good proxy for blood glucose. There are so many questions to figure out there that it really does seem that if the same flexible and miniaturized circuits had been applied to a skin patch it would have resulted in a useful sensor much sooner.

    One has to wonder if the timing of this PR assault for a Google X project with no clear path to production might be something of an attempt to whitewash the backlash from the Next acquisition…

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    1. “backlash from the Next acquisition…”

      Lol, yea backlash from pro-apple tech bloggers.

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      1. Diabetics and Contacts a No No!

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    2. PopulationInvertor Saturday, January 18, 2014

      Not only is there ‘no data’ to support a strong correlation between lachrymal fluid and glucose, there is actually plenty of data to suggest the correlation stinks and lachrymal fluid is useless for glucose monitoring (e.g., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16086177). Makes for snazzy press though.

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    3. That what clinical trials of this technology will have to prove whether measuring glucose levels in tears is a good proxy for blood glucose. Phase 1 trial will probably involve patients doing both the finger prick test and wearing the lenses and comparing the data to see if they match up.

      The announcement it more likely to be connected with the facts that now Google appears ready to engage in clinical trials the circle of people involve in this project will grow dramatically and the likelihood of them keep their mouths shut about Google involvement is zero.

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  6. I think you missed this by a country mile….. most diabetics that can’t wear contacts are ones that already have eye issues or wear contacts for a prolonged period. Can the contact lense be a disease vector absolutely but so can the strips. On top of that if the lenses are used as just as a diagnoses method (i.e. wear for a few hours then stop) then it could be very useful. When you live in a third world country getting any supplies can be an issue. Even worse is trying to maintain equipment (including getting batteries) for monitoring your blood sugar. This idea is a step in the right direction so don’t shoot it down before it has a chance to mature.

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    1. John

      I think being a patient and having poor eyes, I have done all the research into contacts and was told by doctors, not random people that it might not be a good option. I think it is important to pursue new breakthroughs and I appreciate Google for trying, but this is something that needs a lot more input from actual patient community than just devising a device.

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      1. Om, I don’t doubt that you can’t use contact lenses. But please don’t extrapolate that to most people with Type II diabetes. I have it as well. All though obviously not as advanced a stage as yours. I’m still on pills and I do yearly checkup of my eyes which thankfully are still fine. It’s possible that you may have Glaucoma already. I have no restrictions on wearing contact lenses. I have no intentions of doing that since I find them very uncomfortable. And I’d prefer a patch I could use on my arms as well. But don’t shoot down ideas just because it doesn’t apply to you. Google throws a lot of things at the walls and picks the ones that stick. That is an admirable quality – and one far too few companies do any more.

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        1. To add to this, I’m almost 30 with type 1. I’ve had it since I was 6 and have never had any restrictions on contact lenses. I get where Om is coming from, I just feel the article is lumping all diabetics into one group.

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      2. As a patient and having very poor eyesight, neither my eye doctor or gp has told me not to wear contacts. Also, have you priced some of the contacts? They aren’t expensive, I wear disposables and I have a slight asigmatism. The electronics would be expensive and that would be the case whether it is a patch or contact lens. I think some money should be spent on why there is such an increase, be it from more and more processed foods, HFCS or whatever.

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        1. Bdolphin

          Lot of different opinions on this — lot of studies say differently from your experience — also glad to hear you get to wear contacts. I have settled with glasses for now and using exercise to control my situation. Good luck on your end.

          Thanks for the comment

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      3. You talk about Google not being pragmatic, and that a skin patch would be better.
        Unfortunately, even though we all would like it, the technology to measure glucose through the skin does not exist. Current sensors need to be imbedded through the skin and that brings a high risk of infection. So this is a step forward over implanted sensors, but certainly not ideal. And this research is likely to lead to improvements and in the end the technology for reading glucose through the skin may be discovered. You have to start somewhere and you can not blame Google that the first version is not yet ideal.

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      4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22537249

        food for thought.

        as for the rest. I am prone to infection myself due to a poor immune system but with many things moderation is the key. The same is true for contact lenses use.

        you might want to do a bit more research yourself.

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  7. Google + is a failure? Oh, you mean the fastest growing social network in history? Google glass isn’t even a real product yet and you’re hating on it even after the initial positive reaction from the Glass Explorer program.

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    1. YouBoobtube account tie in.

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    2. “growing social network in history”

      You mean the fastest growing Single Sign On system in history? No one uses google+ for “social” outside of a core group of geeks.

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      1. That’s sort of a feature, not a bug. The plebs are on Facebook, the hipsters on Twitter.

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    3. I do have a google+ account (and not a Facebook account) but I was forced a LOT by google to have one (because I want playlist in youtube).

      I does not use it at all (zero content, no friend list)

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  8. Great write up and a good overview of the issue at hand – it seems the wearable trend is moving forward with the best of intentions of solving real problems. They just seem to be solving the right problems for the wrong people.

    It’s not inclusive design if the audience that would benefit the most from a product can’t use said product…

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  9. Now I know that there are 2 people who think like me!!! Please keep talking. You have an audience!

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  10. “Google+, their social network, is a fail”

    Speak for yourself om, …speak for yourself.

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