Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why Baseline?

The field of medicine is ever-evolving, and the hope is that recent advances in technology will continue to spur the next generation of medical discoveries. At Verily, we have been focused on creating new tools to collect and organize information in ways previously not possible so that we can make the information useful. These initiatives, we believe, may chart a course towards the ultimate goal of improving human health. Our aim with Project Baseline is to contribute meaningfully to these efforts and to scientific research more broadly.

The Project Baseline study will collect a comprehensive set of health information both within and outside the four walls of a clinic. Within the clinic, a broad group of participants - including those who are exceptionally healthy, at-risk of disease, and with overt disease - will be providing deep data on a diverse set of measurements with repeat sampling over the course of four years. To bridge these encounters, we have also developed tools such as the investigational Study Watch and the Baseline mobile app to allow participants to provide more continuous insights throughout their everyday lives.

That means the Project Baseline study dataset will include clinical, molecular, imaging, self-reported, behavioral, environmental, sensor and other health-related measurements. To organize this information, we are creating an infrastructure that can process multi-dimensional health data – much of which have never been combined for an individual. Our vision is that this data platform can serve as a single query source and may be used for more seamless data integration and collaboration.

We recognize that we cannot achieve this vision in a silo. Teams across Verily have united around the Project Baseline study, and we work closely with Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine, as well as other partners from academia, medicine, science, patient-advocacy, engineering and design. In the future, the intent is to make de-identified data from the Project Baseline study available to qualified researchers to spur new ideas across the broad ecosystem. Importantly, the participants are at the center of this study. They will serve as active collaborators alongside the rest of the Project Baseline study team and have the option to receive certain health data and test results to share with a doctor.

The Project Baseline study is therefore a united effort to map human health. To achieve this goal, we are creating a new set of tools for medical discovery, with the aspiration that these tools and others from the broader community will pave the way for rich real-world insights, and potentially one day add to the way care is delivered. Today, we begin.

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Posted by Jessica Mega, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at Verily