A Cancer Detecting Pill? Google Has the Answers


by Yasmeen Mann

Google has a pill in the experimental stage that is anticipated to detect cancer. The pill contains microscopic, magnetic particles that can search for malignant cells by travelling through an individual’s bloodstream. Particles within the pill would contain antibodies or proteins attached to detect biomarker molecules indicating diseases in the body. Disease indications would then be reported to a sensor attached to a wearable device. This project aims to provide a simple, noninvasive way to detect cancer. The particles within the pill are tiny enough to fit inside a single red blood cell, which is predicted to improve on sample blood tests that cannot detect early stages of many cancers.

This pill would move towards proactive medicine, and though the work is in early stages, Google is currently seeking partners to move this technology forward. Careful consideration surrounds the regulation of new diagnostic techniques. Particularly, techniques such as this considering that nanoparticles provide a threat to the health of individuals and the environment when not controlled carefully. The technology will also most likely not be operated by Google, as there is a risk of access to patient doctor. Thus, medical professionals and companies will deal with the technology.

With innovations such as this project, there could potentially be a surge in proactive medicine. Imagine that, an early diagnosis that can potentially save your life with the swallow of a pill.


[1] The Global and Mail. (2014, October 29). Google wants to detect cancer earlier with a tiny pill in blood. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/google-is-developing-tiny-particles-that-would-search-for-problems-in-your-bloodstream/article21361540/

[2] The Guardian. (2014, October 29). Google is developing a cancer and heart attack-detecting pill. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/29/google-cancer-heart-attack-detecting-pill

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