- At an annual CEO summit hosted by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made it very clear that the company will not evolve to become a big player in the healthcare industry.
- Brin and Page cited an overbearing regulatory environment as too steep a hurdle for the company to climb. "I do worry that we regulate ourselves out of some really great possibilities that are certainly on the data-mining end," Page said, estimating that 10,000 lives could be saved in the first year if medical researchers were able to analyze anonymized nationwide medical records.
- Meanwhile, struggling phone-maker BlackBerry has been rallying, financially, and their latest product is not a mobile phone but a healthcare platform. The company bought a minority stake in NantHealth this spring, and will help the health tech firm to create a platform connecting medical devices at Indian hospitals.
Page and Brin might not be jumping into the healthcare industry, but the Google brand is still conspicuously involved. Hospitals and clinicians are increasingly leveraging the telehealth capabilities of Google Glass. More to the point, Google Ventures—the VC investment arm of the company—has made a number of notable forays into the business. Page and Brin did make clear their personal distance from Google Ventures, which operates independent of Google proper, but the money is there.
Still, it's sobering that a company as sophisticated and ambitious as Google is put off by the volume of cumbersome and innovation-stifling regulation in healthcare.