Posted on 18 November 2015
Cardiovascular disease is one of our greatest foes and is the biggest killer in the developed world – taking the lives of more than 17 million people every year. We’ve made some progress, but Google wants to up the game.
Adding the Silicon Valley touch
Science needs more money. There are many great researchers worldwide, but greater investments are sorely needed if we want to beat any of these major conditions. Complex disease requires serious investment, and an injection of funds by world-leading company like Google is a welcome addition.
Turning the speed dial
The scientific method has many benefits, but it can sometimes be slow and arduous. A mix of investments and attitudes may help encourage, diversify and intensify the speed of progress at tackling cardiovascular disease. Google announced the $50 million dollar investment at an American Heart Association meeting in Florida, and proclaimed it would go to one team over a 5 year period.
“Traditional research funding models are often incremental and piecemeal, making it difficult to study a long-term, multifaceted subject”
The program will be one of the most well funded initiatives in a century, and there are hopes it’ll really move things along. In a research world predominantly kept aloft with government grants, the extent of private funding here is arguably a welcome addition. Combining new technology with knowledge could lead to some exciting discoveries.
Where are we at already?
The NIH already provides $2 billion a year towards cardiovascular disease research, so in comparison Google’s addition begins to look less impressive. Most funding goes to collaborative bunches however, and relies on safer, more well established approaches. This single team boost could be a riskier, but more rewarding endeavor.
“We have the capacity to make very precise measurements of things that up until very recently, we’ve not been able to take a look at. We live in an era where we can generate very large quantities of data. What we don’t have are very good tools to make sense of it”
Read more at Wired