Google has evolved its healthcare strategy over the past decade, with its current iteration focused on helping physicians search medical records more easily and using artificial intelligence for diagnostic purposes. But Business Insider reports the company is still struggling to solidify Google Health’s identity and where it fits within the overall corporate structure.
Six things to know:
1. Google brought on David Feinberg, MD, to lead Google Health in 2018, and it has spent the past nearly two years developing goals and defining its role within the other health units including Verily and Google Cloud. There is pressure for Google Health to begin initiatives that will drive revenue, according to the report.
2. As big tech companies compete for cloud customers in the healthcare space, Google is depending on add-ons that include chat bots to give it the edge. Google has framed its healthcare unit as a resource in major cloud deals, according to the report.
3. The tech giant aims to build Google Health into a business but declined to outline goals. Google Health’s current areas of focus include consumer tools such as search and maps, clinician tools, imaging and diagnostics, and research.
4. Current Google Health initiatives aim to use machine learning to make routine procedures faster, such as predicting hospital stay length and acute kidney injuries with artificial intelligence. The company could eventually monetize the AI models.
5. Google Health and Cloud had talks with CVS Health about a digital front door partnership to develop a way for individuals to book appointments and obtain prescription refills through Google Search, according to the report. However, the deal did not move forward.
6. Google Health had around 600 full-time employees in April, and an employee survey revealed concerns with inefficiencies within the product group. Around 32 percent of Google Health employees rated “execution” as “unfavorable.” For “retention and function,” 25 percent of Google Health employees gave an “unfavorable” rating.
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