Google Life Sciences, a Google spin-off held under the Alphabet umbrella, has declared diabetes to be their first major disease target, according to a report from NPR. Google Life Sciences has partnered with several other companies as part of this venture, most notably France’s Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company responsible for several recent diabetic advances, most notably Lantus insulin and Lyxumia, an injectable treatment for Type 2 diabetics. Novartis and Dexcom are also among Google Life Sciences’ partners in diabetes research, as per Diabetes.co.uk.
If you’ve been following diabetes news lately, you’ve certainly heard of Google’s new glucose-testing contact lenses, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. Google’s new venture is much more ambitious and far-reaching than that, though; Google is essentially hoping to bump our diabetes management technology out of the mid-20th century and into the modern day.
As Michael Chae, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter at the American Diabetes Association put it, “There’s a whole lot of innovation at once.”
Currently, diabetics (especially Type 1 diabetics) live in a daily world of blood and pain. Between blood sugar tests and insulin injections, I typically puncture myself a good dozen times a day, and while one gets used to it pretty quickly — the alternatives don’t bear thinking about — a future in which we can reduce or eliminate that number and prevent diabetic complications (which include blindness and organ failure) is a future all diabetics can hope for. If Google, a company with a history of tackling huge projects and actually succeeding, is pouring their immense resources into the future of diabetes care, we can all rejoice that it may actually happen for a change.
After all, diabetes research is a field fraught with little advancement and constant accusations of conspiracy. Treatment has made, really, very little progress since the discovery of insulin in 1923, and many are willing to conclude that the pharmaceutical industry is more interested in preserving a $245 billion industry — and that’s in the U.S. alone — than to actually work out new treatments. Whatever the case may actually be, it’s hard to imagine tech giant Google being so easily stymied, and they have a proven track record when it comes to projects that are unpopular with major lobbies; just look at Google Fiber.
Nobody can say what Google’s total diabetes management solution is going to look like in the long run, but it’s sure to be a lot of steps up from the outdated and painful methods in use today.
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