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Massive Project That’s Building a ‘Google Earth for Human Health’

SingularityHub: “In the medical study Hall of Fame, the Framingham Heart Study takes the throne. An ongoing project that’s spanned three generations and almost 70 years, the Heart study was an early attempt to track factors and behaviors that increase heart disease risks. Find and eliminate the culprits, lower a population’s chances of dying from a failing heart. In a nutshell, prevention is the goal of most epidemiological studies. Yet running these longitudinal studies, in which researchers follow the same subjects for years, has always been a nightmare. Funding troubles aside, teasing out which biological factors to track—and how to manage and make sense of all that data—has been a major roadblock.

Enter Verily, a health-oriented offshoot of Google that’s now part of Alphabet, Inc. Earlier this year, the mysterious company announced a collaboration with Duke and Stanford universities called Project Baseline, and it’s got a moonshot goal: stop cancer—and other killers—before they ever occur. More specifically, the project is aiming to comprehensively map human health data from 10,000 people over four years. Taking advantage of Google’s immense computing power and machine learning prowess, the project hopes to develop more efficient ways of organizing the data, along with participants’ medical records, into an intuitive platform much like Google Earth. Since launch, the project has already collected 6,700 terabytes of data, which the team is planning on returning to volunteers in a digestible manner…”

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