Google is in the process of developing a nanoparticle pill that could potentially save lives by identifying cancer, heart attacks and other ailments before they become lethal.

The pill would contain microscopic magnetic particles with antibodies or proteins attached that would be capable of detecting certain biomarkers inside the human body that indicate diseases like cancer, according to a report from The Guardian.

"Essentially the idea is simple; you just swallow a pill with the nano particles, which are decorated with antibodies or molecules that detect other molecules," said Andrew Conrad, head of life sciences inside the Google's "moonshot" X research lab. "They course through your body and because the cores of these particles are magnetic, you can call them somewhere and ask them what they saw."

Conrad said the idea behind the pill is similar to sending a a stream of doctors into a city, checking for certain diseases, compared to the current way, which is more similar to flying a helicopter over that city, looking for health problems.

Google also is working on developing a wearable device that would attract and count the nanoparticles, serving as a health monitor, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company's goal is to provide an early warning for cancer and other diseases, with an eye toward more effective treatment.

"If you look at your wrist you can see these superficial veins — just by putting a magnet there you can trap (the nanoparticles)," Conrad said explaining that a device similar to a smartwatch could be used to read what the particles found in the blood. "We ask them: Hey, what did you see? Did you find cancer? Did you see something that looks like a fragile plaque for a heart attack? Did you see too much sodium?"

Such technology is indicative of the medical community's move away from reactive medicine, which treats symptoms as they appear, and toward pre-emptive medicine, which catches signs of disease before they become a problem.

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