[VIDEO] Google Joins Fight against Parkinson's Disease through Purchase of Spoon
Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) recently acquired Lift Labs, a small firm that manufactures a special spoon to make it easier for individuals with Parkinson’s disease to eat, and in doing so is strengthening its presence in the hardware and biotech space.
The company is joining the Google[x] division, according to Reuters, which has a Life Sciences group aside from focusing on projects such as self-driving cars and drones. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The spoon by Lift Labs, known as Liftware, uses vibrations to offset the tremors that occur as a result of Parkinson’s disease. By allowing the user to focus on the social aspects of eating, Liftware returns a sense of independence to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s and increases their quality of life.
Developed with the help of a National Institutes of Health grant, the tremor cancellation spoon will continue to be available for sale at a retail price of $295.
Google said in a post on Google+ on Wednesday, Sept. 10 that it would also explore how Lift Labs’ technology “could be used in other ways to improve the understanding and management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.”
“We’re excited to be joining Google[x], Google’s moonshot factory,” announced Lift Labs. “We will continue to sell our Liftware system, and Google will enable us to reach even more people living with Parkinson’s or essential tremor who could benefit from using tremor-cancelling devices every day.”
Google has increasingly expanded into health-related services. Earlier this year Google said it was partnering with Novartis to develop special contact lenses for diabetics capable of monitoring blood sugar levels in tears, and in 2013 Google created Calico, a health startup, to develop technologies that tackle health issues related to aging.
Introducing Dosis - the AI powered dosing platform
Cloud-based platform Dosis uses AI to help patients and clinicians tailor their medication plans. Shivrat Chhabra, CEO and co-founder, tells us how it works.
When and why was Dosis founded?
Divya, my co-founder and I founded Dosis in 2017 with the purpose of creating a personalised dosing platform. We see personalisation in so many aspects of our lives, but not in the amount of medication we receive. We came across some research at the University of Louisville that personalised the dosing of a class of drugs called ESAs that are used to treat chronic anaemia. We thought, if commercialised, this could greatly benefit the healthcare industry by introducing precision medicine to drug dosing.
The research also showed that by taking this personalised approach, less drugs were needed to achieve the same or better outcomes. That meant that patients were exposed to less medication, so there was a lower likelihood of side effects. It also meant that the cost of care was reduced.
What is the Strategic Anemia Advisor?
Dosis’s flagship product, Strategic Anemia Advisor (SAA), personalises the dosing of Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs). ESAs are a class of drugs used to treat chronic anaemia, a common complication of chronic kidney disease.
SAA takes into account a patient’s previous ESA doses and lab levels, determines the patient’s unique response to the drug and outputs an ESA dose recommendation to keep the patient within a specified therapeutic target range. Healthcare providers use SAA as a clinical decision support tool.
What else is Dosis working on?
In the near term, we are working on releasing a personalised dosing module for IV iron, another drug that’s used in tandem with ESAs to treat chronic anaemia. We’re also working on personalising the dosing for the three drugs used to treat Mineral Bone Disorder. We’re very excited to expand our platform to these new drugs.
What are Dosis' strategic goals for the next 2-3 years?
We strongly believe that personalised dosing will be the standard of care within the next decade, and we’re honored to be a part of making that future a reality. In the next few years, we see Dosis entering partnerships with other companies that operate within value-based care environments, where tools like ours that help reduce cost while maintaining or improving outcomes are extremely useful.
What do you think AI's greatest benefits to healthcare are?
If designed well, AI in healthcare allows for a practical and usable way to deploy solutions that would not be feasible otherwise. For example, it’s possible for someone to manually solve the mathematical equations necessary to personalise drug dosing, but it is just not practical. AI in healthcare offers an exciting path forward for implementing solutions that for so long have appeared impractical or impossible.