For quite a while (at least in technology time units) wearables have been accused of having no really useful functions. However, the last few months we have seen an array of interesting initiatives and the inherent potential of the devices seems to successively blossom into something worthy of the futuristic expectations. Now, when one of the world’s true technological powerhouses gets into the game, we could expect some amazing forthcoming medical applications within the foreseeable future.
What is currently happening is that Google is developing a wristband that, if everything comes to place, will be able to detect cancer cells in a person’s blood when they first appear. As it turns out, Google envisions a future where patients swallow a pill with embedded nanoparticles, where these particles are 2000 times smaller than a red blood cell. What happens after the patient has swallowed the pill is quite astounding. Described simply, the tiny nanoparticles start circulating the body looking for cancer cells. These particles are magnetic, and using a built in magnet in Google’s future wearable would draw the particles to your wrist, where they would be collected and reveal information about what harmful diseases they may have detected in your body.
As Business Insider describes, the nanoparticles will attach themselves to specific cells, proteins, and other molecules inside the body, depending on how the scientists customize them. For instance, Google could coat its nanoparticles with a specific antibody that would recognize and attach to a protein on the surface of a tumor cell. Once these nanoparticles find cancerous cells, Tech Times reports that they bind to these cells to literally light them up. These lighted combinations of nanoparticles and cancer cells then travel to the blood vessels in the arm and are collected under the wearable wrist device that can detect what kind of cancer cells these are. Since the whole story originates from a recent video reportage signed The Atlantic and called “Why is Google Making Human Skin?”, we have attached the piece for you below:
So what is more, as indicated in the video, Google has started making skin to properly test their ongoing progress. As Daily Mail writes, the scientists have made molds of human arms using both synthetic and real human skin from donors to be utilized in their research. Google created those practice arms since the team wants to make sure that an illuminated clump of cancer cells is visible through human skin, according to Engadget. Being able to conduct a solution with the desirable visibility of the illuminated cancer cells is the main obstacle impeding the research at the moment. This is the main reason why a viable product is a few years away. While using skin in the research, scientists have to account for people of different ethnicity, resulting in different skin pigmentation, and thickness of skin. Also the company currently is working on determining what defines a healthy person, they are also monitoring 175 healthy volunteers to frequently collect physiological information.
Moreover, on the difficulties side, differences in diet and blood chemistry between different people make it harder to reliably diagnose diseases in the way that nanoparticles do, as told by The Wall St. Cheat Sheet. Whereas the research and aimed for solutions are very real and currently employs a large number of incredibly bright scientists, it is important to note that not everything from Google ever becomes reality, as Techareis points out. In any case, it is hard not to be impressed with the conceptual models and how far the research already have come, even though it might take several years before the actual human trials might eventually start. Hopefully, this gives us a real indication of what to expect from wearables in the future.