Google’s smart contact lens project is getting a boost from a new deal with Novartis (NYSE:NVS). Google’s research division, Google[x], will provide the technology behind the smart contact lens to Novartis’s Alcon eye-care division, which will license the technology. The partnership will also have the two companies working together to refine the technology so that they can eventually progress to the testing phase. Once it survives that phase and gets the needed approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, then it will eventually make it to the market.
In some ways the deal is the ideal match of technology and medical knowledge. Google specializes in devices and the small sensors that make the smart contact lenses possible. Novartis brings its medical and treatment knowledge to the table. The Wall Street Journal reported that analysts like the deal from a business perspective since Alcon is a leader in the contact lens market.
Google described how its smart contact lenses would work in a January blog post. Currently, how the lenses will work is through the use of sensors between two layers of contact material. The sensor will detect blood glucose levels, an important indicator of health for diabetics. The lenses may be modified as a result of this partnership to improve them or to use them to monitor other conditions.