Google Pill To Detect Cancers Through Wearable Device
Google has no plans of stopping. It is now working on a pill that will detect cancers and other diseases by sending magnetic nanoparticles down your blood stream. Before Google started working on such a pill, it talked to Sam Gambhir.
Thank heavens Google doesn’t believe it knows everything itself. Before venturing into this field, employees Andrew Conrad and Vik Bajaja met Sam Gambhir. Gambhir is a professor of radiology, bioengineering, and materials science at Stanford University and the director of the university’s Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection.
So what was this meeting about? Gambhir says they wanted recommendations on what moonshots they should try for. And as Google built up its health operations, he continued to consult with the company and the health sciences lab it now runs in Silicon Valley.
One of the projects Google eventually settled on was the “Nanoparticle Platform,” which focuses to create a cancer-detecting pill.
This pill will basically contain magnetic nanoparticles which will hook themselves onto certain cancer-related molecules in the bloodstream. And to detect that, a wearable device will use magnetic properties, making it an in vivo technique, that is in the body, without taking out blood.
Gambhir seems impressed by the amount of talent the team for this project possesses:
“Academic institutions aren’t as good at making an actual product,” Gambhir says. “Research has to leave the academic world and move into the industrial world, and most industrial world applications are focused on therapeutics rather than diagnostics—and certainly not diagnostics based on wearable sensors.”
Conrad and his team have already used this approach to create a contact lens that can detect blood sugar levels by the tears in our eyes. The lens would allow diabetics to track their blood sugar without having to draw their blood. They are now looking forward to commercialize the product through different third parties.
But we can not be sure as to how long this will take before the pills actually enter the market. Google has yet to test the nanoparticles on humans. So far it has been working on artificial humans limbs. Moreover, to reach the market, Google is to delve into further research and lot of legalities.
Google has a lot more challenges than these future based ones. It has to prove that the particles can latch onto markers in the bloodstream that are highly specific for cancer, and that a wearable can decipher accurate information from these particles to confirm the diagnosis.