Although 2019 seemed to be a long time ago, it was the year when we learned about Google’s plans around an initiative called ‘Project Nightingale’, which allowed the company to store and search patient records with the collaboration of Ascencion.
The coverage from NYTimes and others led to many heated discussions online about Google’s footprint in Healthcare, but the chatter quickly evaporated in early 2020.
Google’s ambitions, however, in health-tech have not gone awry.
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- Google Health Launches new Health Studies app for Android users
- European Commission conditionally approves Google’s Fitbit acquisition
Growth in Google’s Health Division
The company has accelerated hiring in multiple areas within the Google Health Division that point to an interesting market positioning by the tech giant.
We looked at some of the research work that Google has been working on when it comes to Healthtech along with the various roles that it is trying to fill and clearly see a well-defined roadmap for the company’s efforts, as we move to 2021.
At the time of writing this article, we found dozens of open positions in Google that are healthcare-related and half a dozen new patents that explore using neural networks (including recurrent Neural networks) for diagnosis as well as remote health monitoring applications.
Although the company has not been very active in consumer health tech products (apart from its Fitbit acquisition this year.)
It has been working diligently in several commercial offerings that are targeted for Clinicians and companies in Life Sciences.
Google Health for clinicians is the major 2021 push
Google Health for Clinicians is building tools to help doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers deliver consumers better, faster, more connected care.
The division’s mission is “ to help everyone live more life every day by connecting and bringing meaning to your health information.”
The current initiative that the team is working through, appears to be elements from ‘Project Nightingale’.
They are primarily focused on a solution for clinicians to search a patient’s longitudinal health record, find key information faster, and document their care.
The company is hiring Product managers to facilitate the transformation of their Health-related fundamental research into commercial offerings.
Along with the Google Health product managers, they are also looking for Product marketing managers who can design go-to-market strategies from the get-go.
According to Google,
“Google Health has made major advances in healthcare research, such as detecting eye disease more quickly and accurately than experts, planning cancer radiotherapy treatment in seconds rather than hours, and working to detect patient deterioration before it happens with electronic records.”
The company is also looking for Business Strategy principals to help with the pricing of clinical products and define go-to-market strategies for their imaging diagnostics products.
This commercial offering is a natural fit for Google as they can leverage their word-class expertise in Neural networks to process image libraries and produce clinical inferences.
The company is working on a number of Health AI (Artificial Intelligence) research projects that enable transformation in the health space.
You can check out several recently approved patents that show how Google is using its leadership in Artificial Intelligence to design solutions for healthcare.
Beyond the much-publicized health records search function, the company is engaged in exploring some of these very interesting initiatives:
- Prediction of future adverse health events using neural networks
- Subject detection for Remote Biometric monitoring
- Diagnostic Effectiveness Tool for Clinicians
- Method of predicting and Summarizing medical events from Electronic Health Records
- Analyzing Health Events using Recurrent Neural Networks and
- Customizable Health Monitoring including noninvasive cardiac health monitoring
Google has been leveraging expertise from the talent pool of ‘DeepMind’, its 2014 AI acquisition as well as the team from ‘Senosis’ ( acquired in late 2018) to help with engineering some of the clinical use cases.
Given that Vuzix’s M400 smart glasses are finding themselves in several hospitals and healthcare facilities doing several AR-related functions, it would not be surprising to see meaningful commercial offerings from Google Health as a result of its North smart glasses acquisition, that the company bought earlier this year.
Apart from Product managers, the company has also been actively recruiting program managers to assist with compliance functions for the various Health projects they have in the hopper.
Google is targeting some of these emerging Google Clinical related positions at The European Union’s EMEA as opposed to the US’ FDA.
To that end, they are trying to recruit a Clinical Strategy Director, who will serve as a senior Clinical advisor for Google Health’s suite of products.
This position will provide overall Clinical leadership for Google Health across EMEA and be responsible for developing the Clinical function business.
To provide a regulatory and legal perspective on these initiatives, they are also hiring an adept corporate counsel for the Google Health team who will work as product counsel for a mixed portfolio of health-related projects, including providing regulatory guidance and advising product, research, and business development teams dedicated to using machine learning to help advance human health.
These new positions are all related to Google Health and are not with Verily Lifesciences, which is another Alphabet subsidiary that is working with a number of healthcare companies and research universities on a number of leading-edge use cases. ( including finger-based wearables for biometrics monitoring)
In summary, it appears that Google Health for Clinicians plans to offer numerous imaging, analytics, and diagnosis related tools in 2021.
This includes its cloud infrastructure.
Plus, the company is not just in research mode but actively working with Product/Program managers, marketing leads, and service delivery executives to help garner momentum as it moves into 2021.