To begin with, the team will look into measuring glucose levels in diabetic patients via the smart contact lens technology that analyses tear fluid in the eye and links wirelessly to a mobile device. They will also focus on developing a smart lens to help restore the eye's natural autofocus on near objects.
Initially the focus will be on eye care, however, the companies see the pact, the financial details for which have not been disclosed, going much further in the future. Novartis’s Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said “we are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs.”
He added that “this is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye”. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said “our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people”.
Healthcare has progressively become an important area within Google. Last month, it signed a deal in the USA looking at autism, while Google Glass is being investigated in a number of areas, including Parkinson’s and use within the ER.
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