eHealth News, South Africa

What Google’s Alphabet Spells for Healthcare

Google Inc. is creating a new parent company, Alphabet, which will oversee Google and its other entities, including its healthcare business.

Alphabet - EHN

Google Inc. is creating a new parent company, Alphabet, which will oversee Google and its other entities, including its healthcare business.

Google Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be Alphabet CEO and President, respectively, with Sundar Pichai taking the role as Google’s new CEO.

“For Sergey and me this is a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google – the birth of Alphabet. We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search,” said Page.

Under the new structure, each Alphabet subsidiary will run independently with its own CEO overseeing each business. “We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well,” said Page.

Page pointed out that the company’s life sciences projects and biotech research and development company, Calico, will be housed under Alphabet, as will its corporate venture capital investment arm, Google Ventures, and Google X.

“Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related,” wrote Page on the company’s blog.

According to Forbes, the move opens new opportunities for Google to expand further into healthcare.

Google has been gearing up its financial investments into healthcare, which reportedly consumed more than a third of its total Google Ventures investments in 2014. In fact, Google was part of a $120 million funding deal for Editas Medicine to create technology capable of “editing” the human genome.

To date, Google has been involved in numerous innovative healthcare projects. For example, Google’s Life Sciences, a research division within Google X, is working with pharmaceutical giant Novartis on a smart contact lens that will help diabetes patients monitor their blood-sugar levels. And in June 2015, the Life Sciences Group announced a new health-tracking wristband that can be prescribed to patients or used in clinical trials to provide researchers and doctors with real-time data on how patients are progressing.

Meanwhile, Calico, is focussing on longevity and age-associated diseases.

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