Google searching for early detection device
Many of us turn to Google for answers; we consider it a lifesaver when we are in a bind looking for a good recipe or quick information on any topic.
According to Prevention.com around 35 percent of Americans turn to Google in an attempt to diagnose themselves. Google is now taking this trend a step further and investing in a wearable monitoring device, similar to a wristband, which would diagnose cancers, impending heart attacks or strokes, and other diseases earlier than any technology currently available.
Many people utilize some sort of tracking device, such as brands like FitBit or Jawbone, for tracking their health and wellness progress. With the new Google initiative, which is in its very early stage, the tracking would take a giant step forward through monitoring blood to provide diagnosis well before any physical symptom appears.
The technology is based on nanoparticles, which allow scientists to explore the body at a molecular and cellular level. An article on the topic published by BBC.com discusses how Google is designing a suite of nanoparticles to match with different conditions.
“We are already seeing a trend of people wanting to know more about their body’s performance,” says Dr. Thomas Duhig, sports medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill. “Google is taking initiative and trying to determine a way to be unobtrusive and identify issues at the earliest stages to help increase the chance of successful treatment. Also, this would be a tool that would help doctors perform their duties, not replace them.”
This technology is in the infancy stage, and may never fully come to fruition – something that Google itself acknowledges – but the potential behind the idea is too much for the company to pass up. Dr. Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist and Google employee in charge of the project, said in a statement, that this is not for all consumers, but rather would be prescription based. For those concerned about privacy, Google will not be marketing the tool and all data would be based on a doctor-patient relationship, with none of the information going back to Google.
Ultimately, if this proves successful, Americans may no longer need to “Google” symptoms. Google will have taken measures to ensure that you don’t need to search for a diagnosis; the result will be already identified.
“Physicians can utilize tools like this to create a real time partnership with their patients for health monitoring,” Dr. Duhig says. “It also is great way for patients to be proactive with their health, which is a benefit to patients and doctors.”
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