Novartis’ eye care division Alcon entered an agreement with Google[x], a team within Google devoted to making major technological advancements, to in-license its smart lens technology for all ocular medical uses.
The partnership combines Google’s expertise in miniaturized electronics, low power chip design, and microfabrication with Alcon’s knowledge in physiology and visual performance of the eye, clinical development and evaluation, as well as development and commercialization of contact and intraocular lenses.
As part of the agreement, Google[x] and Alcon will collaborate to develop a smart lens that has the potential to address ocular conditions. The smart lens technology involves noninvasive sensors, microchips, and other miniaturized electronics that are embedded within contact lenses. Novartis is interested in helping diabetic patients manage their disease by providing a continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body’s glucose levels via a smart contact lens that is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device.
The company also wants to use the technology to focus on people living with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses. The smart lens can potentially provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye’s natural autofocus on near objects as part of refractive cataract treatment.
“Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people,” said Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google. “We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”