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Glucose-sensing lenses cancelled

Plans for glucose-sensing contact lenses have been halted.

The product - which was being developed by Verily in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Novartis - was supposed to assist people living with diabetes by monitoring their blood sugar levels, but plans have been halted after it was discovered the readings weren't accurate enough for a medical device.

Verily partnered with Novartis for the contact lenses back in 2014, and the product was supposed to measure the glucose levels found in tears, in order to alert the user of changes in their blood sugar levels.

However, in a blogpost, Verily said the levels found in tears were not close enough to the levels found directly in blood, and so could not be used to accurately determine a person's true blood sugar levels.

The post read: "Our clinical work on the glucose-sensing lens demonstrated that there was insufficient consistency in our measurements of the correlation between tear glucose and blood glucose concentrations to support the requirements of a medical device."

Verily's lenses would have consisted of a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor, embedded between two layers of lens material.

The firm said it has faced various challenges getting reliable readings from the eye, but added that it would continue to explore other uses for the Smart Lens technology - which include a lens to improve eyesight after surgery for cataracts.

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