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Alphabet's life sciences unit launches health research project

MDBR Staff Writer Published 20 April 2017

Alphabet’s Verily Life Sciences has launched a four-year study with about 10,000 participants to understand how people transition from being healthy to becoming sick.

Verily is partnering with Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicin to enroll participants from varying backgrounds at sites in California and North Carolina within the next few months.

The Project Baseline study will collect a range of phenotypic health data from around 10,000 participants. Each one of them will be followed over the course of at least four years.

Verily designed the study to develop a well-defined reference or baseline of health, as well as data platform that helps to know the transition from health to disease and identify additional risk factors for disease.

The study will enable to test and develop tools and technologies to access, organize and activate health information.

In the coming months, the Project Baseline study will recruit participants at the sites of Stanford and Duke.

Through repeat clinical visits, each site will pool deep datasets on participants. The study will use wrist-worn investigational device and other sensors to collect data, as well as smartphone, computer or call center for regular participation in interactive surveys and polls.

Data collected will comprise of clinical, imaging, self-reported, physical, environmental, behavioral, sensor, molecular, genetic and other health-related measurements. Biospecimens gathered include blood, saliva and others.

Google computing infrastructure and Google cloud platform will be used for gathering Project Baseline data, which can be used by qualified researchers for exploratory analysis in the future.

Verily chief medical officer Dr Jessica Mega said: “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.”


Image: The data collected in the study includes molecular, genetic and other health-related measurements. Photo: courtesy of jk1991 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.