Verily is the new name of Google’s life sciences division, operated by Alphabet. Verily has the goal of understanding disease ‘at the individual level’.
The Life Sciences Division has been formed at Google X lab a couple of years ago and became an independent company under Google’s parent, Alphabet, in August this year. Until now it didn’t have a name.
One of Verily’s projects is to develop contact lens with a glucose sensor built-in. The lens would measure the glucose levels in tears and signal alarming levels to the diabetic wearer.
Representatives of the company argue that a car has about 400 sensors to measure its ‘health status’ but we are not yet doing that with the human body. Verily wants to change that.
A hardware team of the company is building small devices to monitor a person’s health status and signal when there is a problem. Software engineers are working to write programs that would identify diseases and prescribe treatment in a record time.
The conditions they are trying to understand better are diabetes, heart disease but also cancer. The team aims to develop applications of early diagnosis while also proceeding into developing surgical robotics.
Scientists at Verily are very proud to announce their goal of understanding disease at the individual level, arguing that instead of just knowing what makes ‘someone’ sick, they will be able to tell what it is that makes ‘you’ sick.
Besides Google, another tech company working to make personalized medicine is IBM. They aim to use Watson supercomputer for diagnosing disease and prescribe individual treatments.
Alphabet Company was formed by Google’s parents Sergey Brin and Larry Page earlier this year. Google’s businesses such as advertising and search have been separated from big projects like Verily, which will be managed by Alphabet.
Verily will collaborate with pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis for bringing their lens on the market but also with famous universities like Duke and Stanford for research.
Verily has gathered a multidisciplinary team of engineers, chemists, doctors and data gurus in Google’s campus from Mountain View, California. Besides the scientists, Verily’s team also includes a philosopher, as they also need to understand the “why” in human actions and not just the “what”.
After conquering the internet, Google is now taking medicine a step forward into the future.