Google hires a healthcare director to organize its fragmented health initiatives

Google has employed Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg to monitor his many health initiatives, reporting to AI boss Jeff Dean and working closely with CEO Sundar Pichai to organize Google's various health-related businesses.

Google has been interested in health care for some time; Its current effort is quite fragmented, and it spans several teams and its overall alphabet companies, including Nest, Verily, Calico, DeepMind and Google Fit. In 2008, Google launched a project called Google Health, aimed at reconciling patient's medical data stored by different providers. It eventually folded in 2013 and paved the way for Google Fit, a fitness ecosystem for Android phones and WearOS smartwatches. Google Fit is the company's only consumer-oriented product focused on health so far, although Nest – a subsidiary of Google Home – is reported to work to enter the digital healthcare sector as well.


In July, it was reported that Nest had quietly acquired healthcare startup Senosis. CNBC reported that it had talked to senior apartments to incorporate Nest units that could sense fall and automatically turn on lights with motion sensors when people wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet.

Feinberg Chief Jeff Dean heads the Google AI Research Department, which manages Google Brain, a deeply learning AI research team, sometimes internally called "Medical Brain." According to CNBC, Google Brain recently focused on a research project called Medical Digital Assist, using AI-powered speech recognition to help doctors with notes during a hospital visit.

Other Google teams like Search and Cloud have helped the company's health initiatives in more subtle ways, such as. Adding invoiced medical information to the knowledge graph and offering cloud services to healthcare providers. In July, Google Cloud hired former Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove to advise the team. Cosgrove noted that he is particularly interested in building apps to modernize hospitals.

Google's parent alphabet also invests and owns two research and development organizations, Verily and Calico. Recently, Google and Verily researchers used a tool to analyze the eye scan data set of 300,000 patients to assess a patient's risk of heart disease. Calico, on the other hand, has more malicious goals to "cure death" to extend human life. The $ 1.5 billion investment from Google, the company has studied genomes to unlock the secrets of aging – especially with experiments involving nude mole rats.

Feinberg's rental is an indication that the company wishes to reconcile its many health initiatives that span its web services, software, hardware and AI-backed games; a source told Wall Street Journal that Feinberg is expected to give strategic direction, although it is unclear whether his role will include experimental efforts of the alphabet.