Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is working on immersing itself deeper and more directly into the world of health care, a wide venture that hinges on the company leveraging its massive artificial intelligence prowess to create health solutions. Alphabet is on the move in the healthcare field in a large number of big ways, and they almost all revolve around the company’s recent and all-encompassing refocusing into a firm that injects its AI know-how into literally every single thing it does. The company has been making purchases, developing user-facing solutions, and is even partnering up with health insurance companies on a trial basis in some parts of the United States.
The insurance partnership is one of the most out-of-the-way ventures in comparison to the usual tech focus of Alphabet, and for now, it’s limited to offering a diabetes program called Onduo, developed in partnership between Alphabet-owned Verily and biopharmaceutical company Sanofi. A job posting on Alphabet’s website, however, mentions that the company is looking for somebody to manage health plans, which means that Alphabet could use AI and gadgets to manage and detect patient risk in order to judge insurance rates, giving the company the unique ability to offer health insurance at a rate that’s actually consistent with individual patients’ risk and cost. To that end, the company has also partnered up with GlaxoSmithKline to work on a project called Galvani Bioelectronics, and has created the Study Watch, a special smartwatch that’s currently awaiting regulatory approval. Alphabet is working on solutions for smarter treatment, as well, as indicated by a patent for a smart syringe that can track dosages and ensure patients are taking their medications as needed. Verily also completed a study on Parkinson’s Disease at one point, and has acquired Lift Labs, a company that makes a special spoon called Liftware, which automatically stabilizes Parkinson’s patients’ food while they eat. Heart monitoring and eye care are also in Alphabet’s wheelhouse now, among many other facets of health care. Circling back to the company’s tech focus, it acquired API management specialist Apigee back in 2016, and is using that company’s health care data management and API integration expertise in concert with DeepMind to build out an AI-managed health data framework, which could be contracted out to health care providers and insurance companies in the future, and could also have something to do with the job listing involving health plan management.
Overall, it’s incredibly clear at this point that Alphabet is working hard on breaking into the health field in a number of big ways, and is already aiding doctors and patients in a number of ways. Going forward, the company is likely to begin building out contracted solutions using its expertise, but independent solutions sold and managed by Verily and Alphabet are practically an inevitability at this point, unless there’s a major change of plans.