Verily Life Sciences, the medical arm of Google parent Alphabet (NSDQ:GOOGL), said today it is launching a 4-year, 10,000-patient study looking to examine how people transition from healthy to sick and to identify additional disease risk factors.
The company will partner with Duke University and Stanford Medicine, with enrollments beginning in the coming months. Study participants will also be enrolled at the California Health and Longevity Institute in Westlake Village, Calif.
The study will be the 1st initiative of its “Project Baseline,” which looks to establish a baseline definition for health and what it means.
“Through the Project Baseline study, we are aiming to engineer a true twenty-first century approach to health – in a preventive and personalized way. Instead of having the annual physical exam that has not changed in decades, we’re hoping to develop new platforms that will discover changes in health as they happen in meaningful and actionable ways. To do this successfully, we will partner with participants to learn and deliver the best approaches for every aspect of the study,” Dr. Adrian Hernandez of the Duke Clinical Research Institute said in a prepared statement.
Data will be gathered through the collection of biological samples alongside data collected from clinical visits and from its Study Watch wearable heart rate and activity tracker. Eventually, Verily said that de-identified data from Project Baseline will be available to researchers for exploratory analysis, the company said.
“Currently, most of what we see as treating physicians are short snapshots in time of an individual and primarily after they are already ill. We are effectively missing a lot of valuable information years prior to illness. We’re dealing with illness in the absence of a well-defined reference of healthy biochemistry, and this underscores the criticality of what we hope to achieve here. By focusing on the health of a broad population, we can eventually have a meaningful impact on the well-being of patients around the world,” Dr. Sanjiv Gambhir of Stanford’s Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection said in prepared remarks.
“With recent advances at the intersection of science and technology, we have the opportunity to characterize human health with unprecedented depth and precision. The Project Baseline study is the first step on our journey to comprehensively map human health. Partnering with Duke, Stanford and our community of collaborators, we hope to create a dataset, tools and technologies that benefit the research ecosystem and humankind more broadly,” Verily chief medical officer Dr. Jessica Mega said in a press release.
Yesterday, Verily unveiled its Study Watch, a wearable device designed to passively capture health data.
The watch, intended to create a method of unobtrusive biosensing, is equipped with multiple sensors, including an electrocardiogram, and can monitor heart rate, electrodermal activity and inertial movements, with a battery life of up to 1 week.