Google is famed for mapping the world’s streets and developing self driving automobiles to roam them. But now the company wants to do something much bigger-mapping perfect human health. As per last week’s announcement, Google Baseline said that it will collect genetic and molecular information from one hundred and seventy five volunteers and thousands thereafter. The philosophy behind this research is to focus on genetics rather than disease.
Health research professionals agree that Google have what it takes to bring technological perspective and fresh perspective into the unique world of genetics. However, they are not all sold on the facets of approach by Google.” Our goal is to comprehend what being healthy means, down to the cellular and molecular level” According to a press release released by Google,” what being health means- a number of times- and that is indeed worried an expert.
But Arthur Caplan has hordes of questions, the most immediate being-what doe Google mean? Do they want to map the health of a six year old girl or a 75 year old woman? He says that values are being injected into the value of humanity right off the bat. However, the director of medical ethics division at NYU-Langone Medical-Center and a well known news contributor at NBC remains very optimistic about this project. According to well placed sources, Google is not purporting to develop a model which depicts a singular perfect human being. The goal behind this is to evaluate data from the participants and find out patterns which can be used for detection of diseases.
Caplan says that “this is a wonderful approach, but I would rather not do it in the name of a healthy’ mission statement” Those are simply fighting words because a mother whose child suffers from a Down’s syndrome may have many reasons to consider her child perfectly healthy.
But could a Smartphone be the possible future in the medical world? According to Kedar Mate, a medical doctor and a well known in matters of healthcare research, genetics alone cannot provide a comprehensive picture of disease or health. “Genes just show between 15%-20% of overall human health while socioeconomic activities account for between 20% to 30% percent. This means that even the best genetic model will never be a reflection of total state of health.
However, in the process of mapping out the best state of health, he says, the giant company will help bring in a better outsider perspective and a great technological power. Caplan further says that any person is able to collect 175 samples of DNA, but Google has massive computational power which makes it more exciting. Google’s access and ownership of massive technological resources and their expertise could bring about a smarter and faster process of analyzing links between disease and genes. However, some genomics research experts have casted doubts about the Google’s health mapping project saying that the research is not new.
Mate asserts that whatever Google puts its hand in, it gets massive attention. But provided what is known about Baseline, it sounds as id Google may not be ready to do that just yet. It isn’t very clear that they could, even when they wanted.