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Brief Published: 31 Oct 2014

Google's Cancer-Detecting Pill

Google's pill will contain nanoparticles

US tech giant Google is developing a pill to help find evidence of cancer, impending heart attacks and other health problems far quicker than is currently possible.

The pill will release tiny nanoparticles into the bloodstream that attach to cancerous DNA or monitor the chemical composition of the blood – which can help identify early traces of cancer and disease.The nanoparticles will have magnetic cores, allowing them to be 'gathered' to a point for analysis by a wearable device.

"What we are trying to do is change medicine from reactive and transactional to proactive and preventative," Andrew Conrad, who leads the project, said in an interview with the BBC.

Many health problems are irreversible when diagnosed too late. Google's system would enable doctors to prescribe preventative treatments and help patients to make lifestyle changes to avoid falling ill.

See our reporting on ingestible sensors and password pills for more examples of swallowed health and security solutions.