The collected data will be shielded from insurance companies and other unwanted-yet-interested parties, according to the article. The goal is only to serve research.
The project benefits from Google's financial muscle. For example, even though the cost of genomics sequencing has fallen significantly, it still costs quite a bit to sequence 175 patients.
Even if the project ends with few new ideas about the quotidian dimensions of a healthy human being, the glucose levels, the blood pressure levels, and so on, it might deliver several advances. Apparently, participants will wear Google's smart contact lens to monitor their glucose levels, and other wearable sensors that are being developed by the firm.
The article doesn't get exact, but it's easy to picture them. Such sensors would have to be comfortable to wear on a daily basis, meaning that they cannot be terribly clunky or obtrusive. We know that some researchers have been working on tattoos-as-wearable-devices. Perhaps Google might be contemplating something along those lines. The company patented a “throat tattoo” last fall, though the filing mostly mentioned communications purposes.
So, even if Google's project doesn't make a big splash, it could make for some interesting ripples.
Follow Darius Tahir on Twitter: @dariustahir