Diabetes comes in two main types. Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is quite frustrating for the affected person as they have to monitor their sugar level 6 – 8 times per day by taking blood samples. This is done by pricking the finger with a needle. What is tough is when children as young as 5 or 6 years of age have to do this every day and potentially for the rest of their lives.
In a previous post we discussed the use of a contact lens to monitor the pressure inside the eye to keep on top of a disease called glaucoma. At Microsoft they are working together with specialized engineers to come up with a contact lens that can accurately measure sugar levels in the blood by continually monitoring sugar levels in the tear film. Have a look at the following video. Certainly it is a marketing video by Microsoft but the underlying message is fascinating.
Even though it is not well explained in the video, electronic circuitry will be implanted within the matrix of the contact lens, which will wirelessly send data to a synchronized computer for the patient to view, or to a medical facility that will monitor the patient.
One of the biggest issues in any medical management for a disease like diabetes is patient compliance with both monitoring and treatment. Being accountable to your doctor, who I assume will SMS you if you are dropping off your treatment protocol is bound to be a great step forward to keeping people out of our hospital systems and leading dramatically improved and longer lives.
Who would have thought that a tiny bit of plastic that corrects blurry vision one day might be able to also measure blood sugar levels and the pressure inside the eye.
If this technology proves to be successful it is quite likely that other blood markers might be able to be measured, such as cholesterol and maybe even thyroid function and liver function. It is quite possible that the majority of the blood pathology industry could become obsolete in due course!
At The Eye Practice we have a feeling that in 10 years time we will be seeing technology implemented that we have not even dreamed about yet.