Google has been trying hard to enter the healthcare arena for over a decade and leaving aside health info or data based ventures, it has set its eyes on developing tiny magnetic particles that could help detect cancer and other health problems. These particles are so tiny that they can be sent through a patient’s bloodstream.
Andrew Conrad, head of the Google X research lab’s Life Sciences Team, told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the particles can be sent to different organs of the body which can be wrapped from outside with a magnetic wearable device that can count the particles and compile information about potential medical conditions inside the body.
“Nanoparticles are the nexus between biology and engineering,” Conrad said. “We can make these nanoparticles behave in ways that we want them to do.” The Nanoparticle Platform is nothing but a sort of pill covered with “antibodies or molecules that detect other molecules,” he said.
The particles are so tiny that they are less than one-thousandth the size of a red blood cell and would attach to molecules, proteins and cells in the body and detect arterial plaque or high sodium levels. The innovation can effectively put an end to strenuous blood tests conducted now to detect early signs of disease, said Conrad.
The model of Android would be implemented to license the technology to other companies which will manage information collected through nanoparticle monitoring. Forecasting another five years for the new healthcare nanoparticle monitoring system to go full stream replacing the current day blood tests in labs, Google wants to change the healthcare domain altogether.
Google is also experimenting an advanced contact lens for people with diabetes to test their glucose levels instead of pricking their fingers everytime. Called the Google X lab, it measures glucose levels in eye tears using a miniature wireless chip and a glucose sensor. Google said it would partner with other companies to bring it into the market.
Google has been pioneering some game-changing technologies like Google Glass, driverless cars and Project Loon among others.