Google names experimental life sciences lab: Verily

Among its initiatives, lab intends to apply the latest technologies to the study and practice of healthcare
By Tom Sullivan
10:06 AM
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Google's Alphabet unit christened its so-called moonshot health lab with the name Verily. 

Before Google established Alphabet, the lab originated within Google X, taking on smart contact lenses as one of its first projects.

Now that it's Verily, Google revealed the four key pieces: hardware, software, clinical and science.

The hardware team, Google explained on the Verily site, is focusing on building smaller but more powerful devices and tools, including the smart contact lenses it hopes will one day enable diabetics to monitor glucose levels in tear drops.

Verily's software engineers will construct algorithms and products for analyzing health data. The company pointed to a multiple sclerosis research project that ties together wearable sensors with lab and clinical tests to collect behavioral,  biological, environmental, psychological data and run machine-learning algorithms against it to learn about disease states.

The clinical group, meanwhile, intends to "apply the latest technology to the study of health and disease," according to the company, including the multi-year Baseline Study "to identify the traits of a healthy human by closely observing the transition to disease."

And Verily's science team aims to earn a deeper understanding of what leads to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The group will also work on advanced imaging methods, bio-molecular nanotechnology, surgical robotics. 

Andy Conrad, who previously co-founded the National Genetics Institute, is CEO of Verily, while former Google X employee and the founder of the smart contact lenses project Brian Otis is the chief technical officer and Harvard Medical School faculty member Jessica Mega, MD, a cardiologist who has lead large clinical trials, is the chief medical officer. 

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