The Economist has an interesting article on Alphabet (formerly known as Google) and their ventures into the health care industry. Some highlights.
Alphabet is the fifth-highest-ranking business in the Nature Index, which measures the impact of scientific papers, in the area of life sciences, behind four giant drugmakers and 20 spots ahead of Microsoft, the only other tech giant in the running.
Where is Alphabet focusing its investments? There are 4 broad areas:
These are, in rough order of ambition: wearables, health records, health-related artificial intelligence (AI) and the ultimate challenge of extending human longevity.
Could Google solve the challenge of interoperability of EHR records? They may try.
The new initiative, called Care Studio, is aimed at doctors rather than patients…Dr [Karen[ DeSalvo [Google’s health chief] has been vocal about the need for greater interoperability since her days in the Obama administration, where she was in charge of co-ordinating American health-information technology. Until that happens, Care Studio is meant to act as both translator and repository (which is, naturally, searchable).
Other initiatives include using the DeepMind algorithm combined with NHS data to create diagnostic tools; AlphaFold–an AI program that can predict protein structure and Calico, a subsidiary looking into age-related diseases, which has a $2.5 billion partnership with AbbVie among others.
Will Alphabet be successful in health? Only time will tell.