During the Wall Street Journal Digital conference, Google’s head of life sciences, Andrew Conrad, took to the stage to talk about the future of diagnosis using modern technologies. He and his team are working on a “smart pill” of sorts that is connected with a wearable device to detect disease within the body.
Said pill contains tiny particles coated “magnetized” with antibodies that can catch disease in its nascent stages. These particles can spread throughout the body and then latch on to the abnormal cells. The accompanying wearable device kicks in at some point to “call” the nanoparticles back and check what’s going on within the body.
This sort of technology could change the entire healthcare industry for good.Moreover, the cells can also fluoresce with certain materials within the nanoparticles, helping cancer cells to show up on an MRI scan much earlier than has been possible before. Or, they could deliver medicine with greater precision than what is possible today, affecting only the “bad” cells.
According to Conrad, this sort of technology could change the entire healthcare industry for good. We essentially wouldn’t need to visit the doctor’s office, and give urine and blood samples anymore; rather we would swallow a pill and monitor for disease on a daily basis. When needed, that data could be sent to the healthcare specialist.
Unfortunately though, Google[x]’s smart pill is still in the exploratory phases with hopes to have it in the hands of every doctor within the next decade.
Some 100 Google employees with expertise in chemistry, astrophysics and electrical engineering have taken part in the nanoparticle project. “We’re trying to stave off death by preventing disease. Our foe is unnecessary death,” Conrad added.