Google has become a major part in our everyday lives. Besides being the most famous search engine, the company starts a project where every piece of electronic will be fused into one and become a part of our bodies. The main idea is to examine cancer, heart attacks or strokes and other diseases.
According to the company’s lab, Google X, detecting cancer could be as easy as popping a pill in the near future.
Namely, Google X is developing a technology that combines disease-detecting nanoparticles, which would enter a patient’s bloodstream via a swallowed pill, with a wrist-worn sensor.
“We’re passionate about switching from reactive to proactive and we’re trying to provide the tools that make that feasible,” stated Andrew Conrad during the Wall Street Journal Digital conference.
The new developing pill is filled with tiny iron-oxide nanoparticles, which are magnetic particles about one billionth of a meter in width, are able to identify cancer tumour cells. The nanoparticles are able to combine a magnetic material with antibodies or proteins that can link to and discover other molecules inside the body. Here comes the work of the wearable device, which calls the nanoparticles back to ask them what’s going on with the body and to discover if the person who swallowed the pill has cancer or other diseases. The wearable device can be worn on the wrist in order to gather the magnetic cores back together and read what they’ve found. Prior to this project, Google X has already developed self-driving cars, high-altitude balloons to deliver internet and Google Glass.
“Because the core of these particles is magnetic, you can call them somewhere, These little particles go out and mingle with the people, we call them back to one place, and we ask them: ‘Hey, what did you see? Did you find cancer? Did you see something that looks like a fragile plaque for a heart attack? Did you see too much sodium?” says Mr. Conrad
According to a separately released statement from Google:
“Maybe there could be a test for the enzymes given off by arterial plaques that are about to rupture and cause a heart attack or stroke. Perhaps someone could develop a diagnostic for post-surgery or post-chemo cancer patients – that’s a lot of anxious people right there (note: we’d leave this ‘product development’ work to companies we’d license the tech to; they’d develop specific diagnostics and test them for efficacy and safety in clinical trials.”
The project was inspired by Google software engineer Tom Stanis. After being hit by a car while riding his bicycle, the scans showed that he suffered from kidney tumor. Fortunately, it was discovered in its early stage, so it was successfully removed and Tom is well and alive.
The pill can also send information to the patient’s doctor by internet so the doctor can observe his patient anytime and anywhere.
“Our mission is to help move health care from reactive to proactive. Our team combines expertise from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and more, and we are focused on developing new diagnostic tools for physicians — especially new smart devices that integrate easily into daily life and could help transform the detection, prevention, and management of disease,” stated the Google spokesman.
On January 2013, Google presented their contact lens that would let diabetics check up on blood glucose levels through the tears in their eyes.
The US government solely has invested more than 20 billion on nanotechnology-related researches in the past10 years and almost 100 Google employees with expertise in astrophysics, chemistry and electrical engineering have participated in this nanoparticle project. Given all this, we can say that there will be even more incredible projects in near future.