- Google's parent company – Alphabet – is increasingly drawing on healthcare and life sciences for new talent, though it insists it has no plans to become a healthcare company, according to a CNBC report.
- Three of its "Other Bets" focused on the healthcare space on Monday, the report adds.
- The Mountain View, CA-based tech giant is also scouting around for computational biologists, robotics experts and academic researchers, CNBC reports.
Tech giants have been claiming space in healthcare over the past few years. Alphabet is among those who have been betting on the industry trend of digitalization. "Healthcare has been labeled as ‘ripe for disruption’ for years, but the combination of government mandates and regulations, technological advancements and financial incentives of the last decade has seemed to finally get the needle moving,” Derek Spearing, senior manager at Top Tier Consulting recently told Healthcare Dive.
Last year, Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet's research arm, and French pharmaceutical manufacturer Sanofi launched a joint venture called Onduo to create tools for diabetes management. The aim is a set of digital tools based on devices, software, medicine and professional care.
Google DeepMind is also dabbling in healthcare via a partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The collaboration, announced last summer, is looking at whether machine learning technology can be used to analyze eye scans. The hope is that such scans could lead to earlier detection and treatment of age-related macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness.
The Moorfields deal is in line with Alphabet’s goal of tackling age-related diseases. Along those same lines, GV (formerly Google Ventures) led a $32 million funding round for palliative care startup Aspire Health last fall. The deal was GV’s first in Nashville, a magnet for healthcare companies and home to the Hospital Corporation of America and Change Healthcare. Google’s venture capital arm is reportedly looking for a deal in the southeastern U.S. as well.
The move to value-based care delivery and patient-centric models is nudging industry players toward solutions that add value for consumers, according to a 2016 Frost & Sullivan report. As companies like Google, Apple, Intel and IBM Watson expand their healthcare footprint, traditional healthcare companies will be forced to change their business models in order to compete, the report stated.