Google’s new Baseline is something many are calling the most ambitious project ever to come out of Google. It is an attempt to map the human body and it has behind a team of scientists from Stanford University, Duke University and Google X, which is the company’s research division.
Google’s new Baseline is a moonshot project; these projects are long-term projects that can take more than 10 years to start showing useful results. The company’s CEO, Larry Page has claimed that Baseline could save around 100,000 lives each year thanks to the data it will collect and the identification of patters and other relationships between various pieces of health information.
For this project, researchers will collect genetic and molecular data from people that will be anonymous (an initial 175 participants have already been approved, but more are to follow). Some of the data collected will come from the already famous smart contact lenses that are able to measure glucose levels in patients.
Google wants to create a complete picture of what makes a healthy human being with the purpose of providing science with a baseline of what components make up good health.
Baseline is not in it to treat diseases, as it is aimed at preventing illness. The data gathered is meant to assist researchers in coming up with new ways of detecting diseases earlier or predicting them.
Google explains the philosophy behind Baseline:
In reality, our body’s chemistry moves gradually along a continuum from a state of health to a state of disease, and we only have observable symptoms when we’re already far along that continuum. But long before those symptoms appear, the chemistry of the body has changed – its cells, or the molecules inside cells. Unfortunately, the medical profession today doesn’t understand, at that molecular level, what happens when a body starts to get sick. If we could somehow detect those changes earlier, as soon as a body starts to move away from a ‘healthy’ chemistry, this could change how diseases are detected, treated, or even prevented.
Some experts are a bit cautious, as Google has had privacy scandals before. But the main question the critics are asking is Would the data be made available to other researchers or would Google own it?
What do you think? Are you excited about Google’s new Baseline? Would you like to have your health monitored by Google? Are you worried that Google might leak information to other parties? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you think about Baseline.