Search giant Google, owned by Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), has invested more than any other company in healthcare-related startups in recent years. There were 57 such firms in Google’s portfolio as of January 2020. Not all acquisitions, including the investment in FitBit Inc. (FIT), have been high-profile, but many are capable of providing access to the lucrative healthcare market.
So, Electronic Health Records (HER) are among the most promising sectors in which Google invests. Google entered into collaboration with Meditech, an EHR provider, last year. On a subscription basis, Meditech also provides its electronic records through the cloud. The credibility of Google in the field of electronic records in general is imperfect. Due to concerns about data protection, several partners refuse to collaborate with the organization. Moreover, like others, the Google ecosystem is vulnerable to errors, which was evidenced by the company’s global service failure on December 14, 2020.
Google makes investments in diagnostic ventures as well. In particular, in order to interpret data and present a medical report, the organization is searching for new ways to use systems with elements of artificial intelligence. The company released a study last year demonstrating that its deep learning model can view chest x-rays at the level of a radiologist. Machine learning has also been used by Google to predict patient needs. FitBit and its smartwatch, which can gather and communicate data about the physical condition of users, would probably play a positive role in this direction of Google’s market. FitBit produces medical data that can be used by the company to build a more accurate model for new drug research and production.
One of the most impressive discoveries in the last half-century has been made recently by Google-owned company DeepMind. The company was able to predict the shape of a protein based on its amino acid sequence, using powerful servers and machine learning. In 1972, the existence of such a technology was proposed, and the idea has remained important to scientists around the world ever since. The issue is now believed to be solved, and in the future, this breakthrough could revolutionize drug production.
Cloud services are another area of investment. Google has invested $100 million in Verana Health, an ophthalmology and neurology business that analyses clinical data. Additionally, $100 million was raised by telemedicine provider Amwell (AMWL).
Therefore, Google’s investments in healthcare are diverse, from tools for record processing to innovative treatment growth. Most investments are possibly long-term and will not offer commercial benefits immediately. Huge financial and human capital, however, may allow Alphabet to produce a complete and popular medical product.
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) stock was worth $1,728.23 on December 23.