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A wristband that can detect cancer cells? It could become a reality in five years

Nowadays, it’s not that hard to find smartwatches and smart wristbands that can do everything from measure your heart rate, to measure the number of steps you’ve taken. Proactively detecting cancer cells is something none of these devices can do, but that could change in the next few years, courtesy of Google.

As reported by MDT, Google successfully secured a patent for a wrist-worn device that could detect cancer cells. The device is used in conjunction with a Google-created pill, which contains magnetic nanoparticles. In short, the wrist-worn device would have a magnetic field to gather up these nanoparticles, along with the targeted cells.

More specifically, the targeted cells are brought together through the nanoparticles in the blood. These nanoparticles will, in theory, have the ability to selectively bind to targets that harm the body. In this case, the targeted cells would be cancerous ones. The wristband would then generate energy, and send it to your blood vessels. The targets would either be modified or destroyed in the process.

Presumably, however, the wristband would work more like a detector than a cancer cell destroyer. Google says the device is still at least five years away from getting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Even so, the potential for such a device is immeasurable. The wristband could not only be used to detect cancer cells, but also theoretically, to target proteins that have been implicated in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Such a device could also detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. Essentially, any disease or malady caused by abnormal cells could be cured with the device. The possibilities are almost endless.

Of course, given the fact that this is just a patent, it’s entirely possible that this wonder device is just a dream — for now.