6 ways Google's Verily is making strides in the healthcare industry

Written by Allison Sobczak | June 02, 2016 | Print  |

It's not just a search engine; Google has grown into a corporate conglomerate with partnerships in several different industries, including healthcare. Verily, Google's life sciences division, has several projects lined up that could potentially change the healthcare field.

Here are six Verily projects:


1. Smart contact lenses. On Jan. 16, 2014, Google announced it was beginning to test a smart contact lens that could measure glucose levels in diabetes patients. In July 2014, Google formed a partnership with Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis, which will license the technology. As of 2015, there were still about three-and-a-half years left until the duo projected the smart contact lenses would hit the market.


2. Smart spoon. Google launched its Liftware smart spoon in November 2014. The spoon, developed by the San Francisco-based startup Lift Labs, is designed to counteract tremors associated with medical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease and essential tremors. Google acquired Lift Labs in September 2014 and began selling the spoon at the initial price of $195 in November that year.


3. Baseline Study. On July 24, 2014, Google announced its medical and genomics project that aims to map a healthy human body, according to The Wall Street Journal. Known as the Baseline Study, the project first collected information from an anonymous 175 people during the summer of 2014 before expanding the sample size into the thousands in 2015. The study's purpose involves enabling physicians to predict the onset of diseases, such as cancer and heart disease far earlier than is currently possible. The study also intends to identify biomarkers that make certain people more or less susceptible to various diseases. Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist at Google X, is heading the project and leading a team of 70 scientific experts to 100 scientific experts. Project collaborator Robert Califf, a cardiologist at Durham, N.C.-based Duke University, said he expects the Baseline Study to run for five years.


4. Nanoparticle pill. On Oct. 28, 2014, Mr. Conrad announced Google's plan to develop a nanoparticle pill that could identify cancers, heart attacks and other diseases before turning fatal. The company has yet to begin testing the pill on human subjects.


5. Health-tracking wristband. On June 23, 2015, Bloomberg Technology News reported Google had created a health-tracking wristband that could measure pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature as well as environmental information like light exposure and noise levels. The wristband can be used in clinical trials and drug tests, and won't be marketed as a consumer device. Trials to test the band began in the summer of 2015.


6. Surgical robotic advancements developed with Johnson & Johnson. In December 2015, Google partnered with Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson medical device company, to form startup Verb Surgical to improve and advance robotic surgery. Verb Surgical appointed Scott Huennekens the company's president and CEO. In the coming years, Verb Surgical aims to develop a surgical solutions platform for operating room professionals.


More articles on devices and implants:
Johnson & Johnson reports 2016 Q1 results; $17.5B in sales — 10 highlights
K2M's CASCADIA interbody systems receive FDA clearance: 5 points
Spine Wave raises $11M in funding: 4 takeaways

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months