Although it stays away from the limelight, Google X is the point of origin for Google's more audacious projects. But even for a group that already boasts the driverless car and Google Glass on it's résumé, their latest project is a massive jump into science-fiction technology.
The process works with you swallowing a pill, but probably not in a room with Laurence Fishburne. This pill contains nanoparticles, which magnetically attach themselves to your body's cells and proteins, and report back to a wearable device that will report health information. This could potentially be for a variety of things but specifically, they can be painted to attach themselves to cancerous cells.
The wearable device would draw the nanoparticles towards itself with a magnetic field, where it could monitor them as they flow past in your blood stream.
Google's head of life sciences Andrew Conrad explained the thought process a little further.
"What we are trying to do is change medicine from reactive and transactional to proactive and preventative," he said at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ:D conference. "Nanoparticles are the nexus between biology and engineering… (they) give you the ability to explore the body at a molecular and cellular level."
This emphasis on tech and health is encouraging, even if this never comes to fruition. Google is also working on health-monitoring, smart contact lenses for diabetics, and a company of its size and clout goes a long way to encouraging similar studies into the healthcare sector. If a device like this can help people detect cancer at an early stage, that significantly improves their recovery chances.
And if you're worried about your health information falling into Google's hands? Fear not, it seems, as Conrad told The Wall Street Journal that Google would license the tech to "others, who will handle the information and its security".
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