Following last week’s announcement of the Study Watch, Verily is starting its four-year study to quantify good health with biometric data. In better understanding health, Baseline hopes to ultimately prevent diseases, as the Alphabet division continues work on other health gadgets.
The Baseline study begins today, with volunteers submitting samples for DNA analysis and other measurements. Beyond biometric data, Verily will ask for online health records and insurance claims, as well as social media data and other communications. In addition to wearing the Study Watch, participants will also be given a sleep sensor.
Bloomberg notes that all the tests will “likely cost at least $300 million even without administrative costs.”
At the end of four years, researchers from Verily and partner schools Stanford and Duke will have access to a database that can hopefully find a relationship between health and disease. Ultimately, Verily is looking for a preventative approach to diseases.
In the short-term, Verily is also working on a Type 1 diabetes monitor slated for 2018. While lightweight and about the size of a thumb drive, it is far less ambitious than the contact lenses first announced in 2014 that could do the same.
Initial versions of the lenses, which non-invasively use tear drops to capture glucose levels, did not provide readings as accurate as blood samples.
Also still in development is a Star Trek-like tricorder that uses nanoparticles injected in the bloodstream to analyze health. Verily found third-party nanoparticles inaccurate outside of lab conditions and is now creating its own.
The study starts today with participants in the San Francisco Bay Area and North Carolina visiting Stanford and Duke University, respectively, for their initial exams. Verily will expand to other parts of the U.S. to capture a comprehensive slice of the population.