Google?s smart contact lens: What it does and how it works

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#1
Google’s smart contact lens: What it does and how it works

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...b938ec-7f80-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html

Wearable devices are already making technology much more intimate than once seemed possible, but Google has kicked it up to a whole new level. The company has announced a project to make a smart contact lens. But this gadget isn’t going to be used to deliver your e-mail straight into your skull — at least not yet. The project is working to tackle one of the biggest health problems facing the country today: diabetes.

Given the public wariness about wearable devices and their capabilities for collecting data, allowing the company to get that close raises the question: How will Google handle this data? Or, for that matter, how can any company stepping into a new world of collecting sensitive medical data deal with the security concerns?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
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#2
I read about this several places. I doubt diabetics will have a problem with the "medical data" issue. I would think most diabetics are wishing this was available right now. I think "security" concerns are less of an issue than they are made out to be especially with all the press about the Affordable Care Act in the US. There is a lot of negative press out there right now in an attempt to destroy the ACA.
 

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
AFAIK it measures glucose levels in tears. How bad is it if that data gets out? Name - J Bloggs, glucose levels - high at 12:37pm. Dangerous data indeed. Perhaps you'd start getting google ads showing glucose monitors on websites.
Google glucose testing contact lens and ACA being trashed by press...being a bit slow here, what is the link?
 

Marc

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#4
AFAIK it measures glucose levels in tears. How bad is it if that data gets out? <snip>
None as far as I'm concerned, but before the 2010 ACA act if you changed jobs or insurance companies it could have (and typically did) kept someone from being covered for diabetes (pre-existing condition fine print which the ACA outlawed).

What I said above was "There is a lot of negative press out there right now in an attempt to destroy the ACA." I did NOT say anything about any link such as Google glucose testing contact lens and ACA being trashed by press.

I brought this up because of all the negative stuff being said about the ACA especially with regard to the .gov web site security. That dovetails with the OP's question: "Given the public wariness about wearable devices and their capabilities for collecting data, allowing the company to get that close raises the question: How will Google handle this data?"

Now - That said, prior to the ACA a person's medical history and keeping it "quiet" and "private" *was* important if you wanted health insurance - Diabetes? Not covered if you changed insurance companies because of it being a "prior condition". The ACA act essentially outlawed insurance companies from denying coverage based upon prior conditions.

Links on states/certain politicians wanting ACA (aka Obamacare) dead: Just a few:

From Faux (where else?) - Testimony: ObamaCare website 100% insecure - http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/17/testimony-obamacare-website-100-insecure/

Republicans warn of security flaws in Obamacare website - http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/16/us-usa-healthcare-security-idUSBREA0F07X20140116

States Benefiting Most from Obamacare Try to Kill It - http://www.demos.org/blog/states-benefiting-most-obamacare-try-kill-it

http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=s...pvt=states+try+to+destroy+obamacare&FORM=EWRE

How to kill Obamacare without even trying - http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/08/how-to-kill-obamacare-without-even-trying/

And hundreds more. All republican/conservative, of course. They know that by 2016 the ACA better be dead or there will be another democrat in the White House.
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#5
Last week, all newspapers reported on Google's secretive X Research group meeting FDA and raising the possibility of a new product that may involve biosensors from the unit that developed computerized glasses.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-...meet-with-fda-pointing-toward-new-device.html

The meeting included at least four Google workers, some of whom have connections with Google X -- and have done research on sensors, including contact lenses that help wearers monitor their biological data. Google staff met with those at the Food and Drug Administration who regulate eye devices and diagnostics for heart conditions, according to the agency?s public calendar.

As technology and medicine merge to give consumers more control over their health, innovators from mobile-health application developers to DNA analysis companies have struggled to meet the demands of federal oversight. The FDA ordered Google-backed 23andMe Inc. in November to halt sales of its personal gene test, saying it hadn?t gained agency approval.

Given this background, it would be interesting to see how FDA respond to Google's project !
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
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#6
I'm excited about what they're (many companies and people, not just Google) doing in the health field. Healthcare is *hot* and will continue to be. I have seen quite a few discussions in software forums where people are trying to figure out what "app" they can write and/or what sensor they can develop. Most of the discussions center around FDA requirements. Most of the people are clueless, so medical device consultants should be flocking to them… :notme:

Then again, I'm in my 60's and having seen the advances in medicine in my lifetime I can't imagine what the next 100 years will bring.

Of course the down side is all this costs money and is one of the reasons healthcare is so expensive these days. I know a girl who had a premie that lived 6 days. Insurance paid over US$600,000. Not so many years ago the baby would have died because the technology to keep it alive didn't exist. And a friend ended up with cancer. He was essentially broke (2008 killed his business), but because he spent 4 years in the Coast Guard the government has paid close to US$400K on him (one operation alone was over 12 hours long). And he has more operations to come.

I bring this up because even when the technology comes online for something new, whether or not people can afford it is another story.
 

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Thanks Marc, i must admit that while no system is perfect I'm glad I'm covered by the NHS over here. For all its faults I've yet to hear anyone having treatment ruled out due to it being pre-existing. I've heard lots of scare stories but yet to meet anyone who's experienced them.

All the large tech companies are spending heavily on research into healthcare tech. It is going to boom very soon. They're funding a lot of universities right around the world with a real multi-disciplinary approach. Not just looking at the tech but also the psychology of it too. They're covering it from all angles.

Google is not the only big player into this, think all big tech names out there and i reckon there's a team working on healthcare devices for them.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
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#9
When you think about it, healthcare products have been booming for a while now. Aging populations and major advances in electronics miniturization are just making advances go faster. From emplacement eye retinas to computerized replacement limbs, it's all moving ahead very fast now.
 

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Replacement limbs are amazing compared to the past I believe. Even 20 years ago you could buy different legs for different things. Someone I knew had a swimming leg, a day to day "best" leg and one for trashing around which he wasn't too fussed if it broke.

Then again nowadays the legs are pretty advanced kit really. I was taken aback once when I saw a lady in her late 50s wearing running shoes and sporty kit with two modern false legs on and totally uncovered. I wondered why she had them uncovered but after thinking about it why wouldn't you show off prosthetic legs if they were as good as those were?

It is not just computerized prosthetic limbs but the human/prosthetic interaction too. Modern materials have been developed to prevent damage to the stump end. One such story was when a pioneering vet developed a gel for connecting the prosthetic tail to a dolphin. That gel passed into human use too. Focusing on the google type of electronic product would miss the materials and more mechanical advances in medical devices. I'm sure others know more about this. I only managed to sit in on a couple of biomaterials lectures at University and that was a long time ago. Do remember some lecturer described the human body as being one of the most aggressive environment for materials.
 
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