Everyone knows that Google is the powerhouse technology company that specializes in search, the Internet and online advertising. The company says they are trying to organize the world’s information.
But do many of you realize that some of the information Google is talking about is a whole lot more than doodling? Its parent company is known as Alphabet Inc., which also features life sciences.
Google’s Life Sciences team, recently renamed Verily, is seeking a patent for a device that will draw blood without the use of needles. Google hopes to use the tiny amount of blood the device will draw in a series of diagnostic tests. According to Google’s patent, their device releases micro particles through a negative pressure barrel that will break the skin enough to get a small amount of blood droplets.
The device is designed for people who have to check their blood glucose levels on a regular basis- such as those with diabetes. The device could be worn on the wrist, or used as a hand-held model. Patent is still pending.
But if that isn’t enough, Google began working on another project to measure glucose levels a year ago. With the help of pharmaceutical power Novartis, they expect to detect glucose levels in diabetes patients by using contact lenses.
Novartis says they will use a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor that is placed between two layers of a soft contact lens and test the levels in tears. Testing is expected to commence by 2016.
Google’s Life Sciences division is also working on another product to monitor glucose. The Verge reports that they are working on a small, low-cost and disposable cloud connected sensor to be used for type 1 and type 2 diabetes cases. Google would be working as a partner with glucose monitor manufacturer DexCom.
But Google Life Science’s health interests go beyond diabetes. They even extend into the operating room. The company is also partnering with Johnson & Johnson medical devices subsidiary Ethicon to improve surgical robotics.
Johnson & Johnson explains that robotic-assisted surgery is minimally invasive, and the technology involved gives surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the operation, and minimizes scarring and trauma for the patient. Google will research where computer science advancements, imaging and sensors fit in with the surgical procedures.
Meanwhile, Google is also looking to work against neurodegenerative diseases. PC World noted that they acquired San Francisco-based operation Lift Labs for the Life Science division.
Lift Labs makes a mechanical spoon known as Liftware that helps people with hand tremors. The device uses a computer to spot, oscillate, and steady the hand suffering from the tremors.
Google plans to see how such technology could be used to improve understanding and management of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.
Life Sciences has placed a lot of its focus in diabetes. Google has even announced an agreement with French company Sanofi to work together to fight diabetes. Latest statistics say over 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes.
We’d love to see Google Life Sciences find what they are searching for.