This week Google announced its latest innovation: a smart contact lens developed to help people with diabetes monitor their glucose levels. Patients are more likely to comply with monitoring that does not require frequent pin (lancet) pricks for blood samples, and maintain better health as a result.
Google says that the lens, currently in prototype form, will use a wireless chip and a tiny glucose sensor planted between two layers of material designed for soft contact lenses to measure glucose levels in tears. The lens will use miniature lights to warn the diabetic person if their glucose readings reach a dangerous level. Google reports that they have “completed clinical research studies that explore tear/blood glucose correlation and test lens functionality and comfort.”
Dr. David Klonoff, medical director at the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, worked with Google on a clinical study to evaluate that ability to detect glucose in tears. He was Principal Investigator and co-author of the protocol for the first study in the Google contact lens project.
“We measured tear glucose levels with a unique sampling system and a special measuring method that were developed by Google for very small volumes and very low glucose concentrations. We compared tear glucose levels with blood glucose levels to see how closely these two measurements tracked,” Dr. Klonoff explains.
Test results are still being analyzed by Dr. Klonoff’s team but he reports that he is optimistic about the outcomes and eventual benefit to patients.
“It was exciting working with scientists from Google and to collaborate with such a dynamic creative company. They do not let any barriers stand in their way. I have been following the work of the Google scientists for many years and they are extremely creative,” Dr. Klonoff says.
Read the official Google blog, Introducing Our Smart Contact Lens Project by Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, project co-founders.
He founded the Dorothy L. and James E. Frank Diabetes Research Institute of Mills-Peninsula Health Services to facilitate development of new devices and drugs for people with diabetes. He has chaired the scientific advisory board for developing the first FDA-approved insulin patch pump and participated in development of the first FDA-approved dedicated diabetes telemedicine system, the first FDA-approved inhaled insulin, and the first three FDA-approved incretin drugs for diabetes. He recently published his findings in the New England Journal of Medicine as the lead investigator for the first-ever randomized controlled multicenter trial of the world’s first artificial pancreas product for outpatient use.
Replacements, Fusions and Transplants Heal Common and Chronic Injuries
New technologies developed in the last decade have helped ankle surgeons achieve better outcomes for a range of injuries and conditions.
The Mills-Peninsula Orthopedic Ankle Center team now offers total ankle replacement, a procedure that replaces a painful, arthritic joint with metal and plastic implants, similar to knee and hip replacements. Total ankle replacements are typically recommended for people who have advanced ankle arthritis, destroyed joint surfaces, or pain and stiffness that interferes with daily activities. Studies show that ankle replacements can safely and reliably ease pain and maintain mobility in patients. Improved ankle replacement parts made of metal and a smooth plastic material (polyethylene) can relieve the pain of bone rubbing against bone.
“As people get older, they’ve had more time to injure their ankles and joints,” says Todd Kim, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula orthopedic surgeon who has specialized training in both ankle and shoulder repairs.
The Mills-Peninsula Health Services Diabetes Research Institute in San Mateo, California, was the lead site and David C. Klonoff, M.D., was study chair of a national, multicenter study called ASPIRE (Automation to Simulate Pancreatic Insulin REsponse), an in-home clinical trial of the integrated MiniMed insulin pump with automatic insulin suspension, a feature called Threshold Suspend which is unique to MiniMed insulin pump systems. The trial was conducted at multiple investigational centers across the United States to determine the safety and efficacy of Threshold Suspend.
This clinical trial is the first, large in-home study to show the results of the integrated system when Threshold Suspend is incorporated. The trial compared two MiniMed sensor-augmented insulin pumps (integrated insulin pump with continuous glucose monitoring): one with the Threshold Suspend feature and one without.
Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center (SMSC) and the Central California Alliance for Health (The Alliance) have named Aaron Surrey, a June 2013 Health Sciences graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), as the recipient of the 7th annual Primary Care Physician Award. The award comes with a $10,000 scholarship.
“Aaron is the seventh UCSC Health Sciences senior that we have sponsored since the inception of this program,” said Larry deGhetaldi, M.D., president of Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz and SMSC community board member. “This has been a wonderful collaboration with The Alliance and UCSC. We are very proud of each of the seven future primary care physicians.”
Mills-Peninsula has received an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group in its Spring 2013 Hospital Safety Score. This is the third consecutive time Mills-Peninsula has earned an “A” rating for hospital safety from Leapfrog. The Hospital Safety Score grades general acute care hospitals on how safe they are for patients. It is calculated twice each year using publicly available data on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections at hospitals.
A panel of patient safety experts provided guidance to The Leapfrog Group to calculate the grades from A to F. The panel selected 26 measures of hospital safety data, analyzed the data and determined the weight of each measure.