Google’s Life Sciences have been revamped as Verily, and the professed aim of this organization is to advance research in the field of human diseases.
The company headquartered in Mountain View, California had initially debuted the Life Sciences Division as part of its Google X laboratory, meant to conduct top-secret research, known as “moonshots”.
Some of those projects, whose purpose is to advance technology in groundbreaking ways have included Loon (global Internet access via balloons in the stratosphere), Wing (quick package delivery using drones), Glass (virtual reality headsets) and the Self-Driving Car (autonomous vehicles equipped with artificial intelligence).
Although Life Sciences were initially bundled alongside such initiatives, on August 10, 2015, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who is also the director of Google X, declared that a restructuring process would be conducted, so as to allow this organization focusing on human health to function separately.
That process eventually concluded on October 2, with Life Sciences turning into a subsidiary of Alphabet, the newly established conglomerate which brings all of Google’s companies together.
Now, it appears that a new name has also been found for Life Sciences: the archaic word “verily”, which is synonymous with “in truth”, “certainly”, “indeed” or “really”.
According to Andy Conrad, the company’s CEO, this re-branding was necessary in order to emphasize that Mother Nature’s destructive forces can only be vanquished by having access to pure truth, as the focus changes from combating diseases to preventing them from occurring in the first place.
So far, inventions developed by researchers from this organization have included a “smart” spoon for people affected by Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, and a wristband which monitors several health metrics (body temperature, pulse, cardiac rhythm) and environmental factors (external noise and exposure to light).
The research center formerly known as Google Life Sciences has also created smart contact lenses which track blood sugar levels, so as to allow patients suffering from diabetes to manage their condition more effectively.
Another invention has been a pill containing nanoparticles: upon being swallowed, antibodies and proteins present in the tablet detect disease markers, and immediately alert patients of an upcoming heart attack or of the presence of cancerous cells.
An equally important has been the Baseline Study, whose purpose is to discover the epitome of physical well-being, by investigating genetic predispositions and biological characteristics which make it more likely for a person to be healthy or sick.
Now, it’s likely that Verily will continue this mission, in an effort to gain an unprecedented understanding of human diseases. This would allow physicians to detect treatable conditions at the earliest stages, and to devise personalized medical care and assistance, which would result in the best health prognosis for patients.
Just like a car owner can be notified regarding any malfunction that the vehicle has suffered, thanks to hundreds of sensors, so should a patient be aware at all times regarding insidious diseases which might not manifest themselves through obvious symptoms in the early stages.
A similar venture has also been undertaken by IBM, whose Watson Care Manager assists physicians in designing the most adequate medical care plan for each patient, by accessing massive amounts of information stored on the Health Cloud and correlating that data with the individual’s specific ailments.
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