The latest news from Verily
Investigating Parkinson’s disease in a new way
Friday, September 30, 2016
What does Parkinson’s disease look like? Slowed movement, tremor, muscle rigidity, balance problems, changes in speech and more—the list of symptoms is long and varied. There is still much to understand about this neurodegenerative condition. Because more than 10 million people worldwide are affected by this disorder, there's also an urgent need to develop therapies that halt or at least slow progression of the disease.
As a neurologist, when I meet a patient newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I’m able to give reassurance that there are many treatments available to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s and to improve their function. I’m not, however, able to provide an intervention that stops the diseases, reverses it, or even decelerates its unavoidable progression. And when asked to offer a prognosis, I am limited again in how I can help. The quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s can be so varied—two people, diagnosed on the same day with the same symptoms, may be living entirely different lives 10 years later.
As a researcher, I am keenly aware of the excellent work being done in the field, including molecular investigations, genetic research, brain imaging, and more. But we still don't understand Parkinson's disease well enough. Our current approach has left many questions unanswered and patients waiting.
That’s why I’m excited to announce the launch of a new, multi-year research study in collaboration with
Radboud University Medical Center
, and Verily Life Sciences. Based in the Netherlands, this study will explore many factors that may be impacting the course of Parkinson’s disease. Our vision is to identify new biological markers that allow us to track the progression of the disease more sensitively and ultimately inform better treatments. We’ll accomplish this using sophisticated molecular analyses, advanced brain imaging, and wearable devices. The sensors in these devices are capable of measuring key information like vital signs and activity level, making it possible to perform in-depth analyses and characterizations of the disease.
Bastiaan Bloem, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurological Movement Disorders and Founder of ParkinsonNet with William Marks, M.D. of Verily
will bring together the internationally recognized experts in Parkinson’s disease at Radboud University and Medical Center like Professor
, the comprehensive care network of ParkinsonNet, and the analytical power of Verily. Our research will aggregate multiple data points from a nationally representative cohort to identify patterns that affect the progression of the disease. This rare access to a “real-life” sample is enabled by the infrastructure built by the highly awarded ParkinsonNet, comprised of 3,000 medical and allied health professionals covering all people with Parkinson’s disease in the country of the Netherlands.
The data we collect will also be made available to qualified researchers interested in gleaning new insights about Parkinson’s disease. This study is pioneering a novel privacy method called polymorphic encryption and pseudonymization (PEP), developed by renowned digital security experts Professors
of the Digital Security Group at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences at Radboud University. We're excited to use this cutting edge privacy and security technique in our clinical research.
It is truly a unique opportunity for our research community to work together toward better outcomes for the people we serve. The research will take time, but I am optimistic that this approach can change the way my future conversations with Parkinson’s patients will sound—filled with a brighter outlook on their health.
Posted by William Marks, MD, MS, Head of Clinical Neurology at Verily
One year, one mission
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
It has been one year since Verily became an Alphabet company, but we’re building on a legacy that extends much further back. From inception, our mission has been to deploy our technology and expertise into the field of healthcare to help improve people’s lives. We’re doing this by developing platforms and tools that help gather, organize, and understand health information so that it is useful and actionable. Together with our partners, we're hopeful that these platforms and tools will result in better prevention and management of health conditions in the future.
Our focus is in three key areas: developing wireless
that can generate rich data sets, organizing health data from disparate sources for machine-learning and development of powerful
algorithms, and conducting
that can meaningfully advance our fundamental understanding of biology and disease.
We recognize that no company acting alone can affect major change in healthcare and so our approach is to partner with leading life sciences companies, government organizations, health systems, and patient advocacy groups with deep domain expertise. Our partners help shape and inform our projects and add speed, precision, and scale to our efforts.
We're early in our journey, but have entered into several exciting partnerships and joint ventures that advance our mission:
with Dexcom to develop miniaturized, disposable continuous glucose monitors (CGM)—the first CGMs tailored for Type 2 diabetes.
of Onduo, a joint venture created through Sanofi and Verily’s diabetes-focused collaboration
with GSK to invest jointly in Galvani Bioelectronics to enable the research, development, and commercialization of bioelectronic medicines
with Alcon, the eye care division of Novartis, on a smart lens program that includes projects to develop both a glucose sensing lens and an accommodating lens
of Verb Surgical, a robotic surgery joint venture with J&J
Our passion and urgency in our work is because we know people are waiting—and we believe the future of medicine lies at the intersection of health and technology. Through this blog we'll aim to share our progress and perspective, so please follow us if you’d like to stay informed.
Posted by Brian Otis, Chief Technical Officer, Verily
Subscribe through email: