How Far Can Google Go In Medical Research?
It seems the co-founders of Google have always had a sense of commit to and a general interest in medical research, which explains the company’s latest interest in this area.
Google in medical research
Google hasn’t remained a company that only relies on the internet; it has ventured into all areas of our lives including our health and wellbeing.
Google has opened a Life Sciences Laboratory in California and hope to use technology internally to predict possible illnesses that may affect us. Recently, a German reporter, Thomas Schulz, visited the facility and found one of the most exciting research projects to be a tablet containing nanoparticles, which could take readings and measurements about your body, and send the results of a device. The hope is that this would predict possible health events in your life.
An additional project is looking at using a contact lens to read blood sugar levels without needles.
Why is Google heading in this direction?
Other companies are looking at tracking and recording, so why has Google moved into these medical areas, where the regulations are tight, and approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is required for all new medical research to be used on the public.
The reporter, Schulz, suggests the company believes they will be able to do much of this research through the use of computer science, and to this end, have employed scientists from a variety of fields to carry out research in their labs. There are some criteria, but basically these scientists can pursue research they are interested in. Google look for large scale projects where their impact will be far-reaching.
As Google is now a company formed from the larger company, Alphabet, so is the Life Sciences Lab, but can a company such as Alphabet in reality, solve all the health problems of the world? In order to encourage further research they have launched the Breakthrough Prize. Sergey Brin and his then wife, Anne were part of a team who initiated the Breakthrough Prize. It is the scientific equivalent of the Oscars, and involves all the ‘hoopla’ of a red carpet event. The scientist and team who won this last prize were led by john Hardy, researching the area of Alzheimer’s. His contribution was related to Alzheimer’s. He was overjoyed to be awarded a prize of three million dollars, and will use it towards the continuation of his research.
Both the company and individual founders are putting money towards the development of new medical technologies. As well as the money to be made, the company’s founders had partners who had come from the medical field. However, the company is also looking to its future reputation. Thomas Schulz published a book looking at exactly what it is that Google wants, and believes it is their strong desire to be successful well into the future – it is not a short term goal, and they are just as interested in having a long term effect on society in general – they do not want to be forgotten.
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