Given the fact that diseases like cancer and heart disease don’t start overnight, it’s important to find out just how someone can go from healthy to having a disease.
Verily Life Sciences is a company that shares a parent company with Google and has decided to launch a long-term study of 10,000 Americans.
The study will involve tracking their blood, tears, saliva, genes, microbes, and physical environment. It will also monitor their movements and how they sleep.
Project Baseline will utilize wearable sensors to track all of this in real time.
Sam Gambhir, a lead investigator on the study and also chair of radiology at Stanford, said, “This won’t be the full movie of life, but by having more and more of those snapshots long before you become ill, we’ll start to transform our understanding of both wellness and illness.”
“I hope that 20 years from now, 30, 50 years from now . . . people will say ‘wow this really led to a transformation of human health,’” he said.
Participants will wear the study wristband during the day, and a sleep sensor placed under their mattress will track their movements at night. They will also asked to commit to the four years that Verily has agreed to fund the study. The participants will all be adults but their ages will vary. They will be recruited by Duke and Stanford within the next few months.
Verily has not revealed the cost of the study or any specific plans to develop products out of it.
Eric Dishman, director of the All of Us Research Program commented, “There’s a lot to gain when research focuses on health in a holistic and longitudinal way,” he wrote.