Google

By Jonah Comstock October 17, 2017
Google briefly tested, but has either removed or planned to remove, a feature in Google Maps that automatically added calorie counts to walking routes, and even expressed the number of calories as an equivalent number of "mini-cupcakes." The feature was rolled out on a test basis to some iOS users, but was rapidly panned on Twitter. In addition to a general feeling that the app was shaming or...
By Jonah Comstock October 4, 2017
With just nine acquisitions, the third quarter of 2017 didn't set a record for number of digital health acquisitions — Q1 and Q2 of this year came in at 12 apiece. But it did feature some very high-profile deals, including the acquisition of digital health pioneer WebMD, a rare acquisition from Alphabet, and big deals in spaces from diabetes management to caregiving to health insurance. Of course...
By Jonah Comstock August 29, 2017
While Google the company -- now known as Alphabet -- has spun its health operations into several growing subsidiaries, Google the search engine continues to be one of the major ways people seek to learn about their health. To its credit, Google has displayed an awareness of the "ask Dr. Google" phenomenon and over the years has steadily improved what people see when they make health-related...
By Jonah Comstock August 15, 2017
Alphabet (the Google parent company formerly known as Google) has acquired a small, Seattle-based startup called Senosis Health, according to Geekwire, which broke the story on Sunday. Senosis, which had only recently come out of stealth mode, may not be a company many have heard of, but its founder Shwetak Patel, a professor at the University of Washington and a visiting researcher at Microsoft...
By Jonah Comstock June 22, 2017
DeepMind, the AI-focused, UK-based Google subsidiary, will roll out its Streams app in a second hospital, the company announced this week. The deployment of the app at Musgrove Park Hospital marks the start of a planned five-year rollout with the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Streams has been developed in collaboration with kidney experts at the Royal Free Hospital London. The app is...
By Heather Mack May 19, 2017
The days of claiming artificial intelligence as a feature that set one startup or company apart from the others are over. These days, one would be hard-pressed to find any technology company attracting venture funding or partnerships that doesn’t posit to use some form of machine learning. But for companies trying to innovate in healthcare using artificial intelligence, the stakes are...
By Jonah Comstock May 10, 2017
Dr. Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has left Verily after a little under two years. According to a report in Nature, Insel will be starting a new startup called Mindstrong that will be focused on using smartphones to detect mental health conditions. Insel joined Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet that at the time was called Google Life Sciences, in...
By Heather Mack April 24, 2017
Out of the 422 million people around the world living with diabetes, one in three of them will develop diabetic retinopathy (DR), a common condition that can lead to permanent blindness if left untreated. While early detection and treatment can dramatically reduce that risk, a third of people with diabetes have never even been screened for DR, as many are living in low-income, medically...
By Jonah Comstock March 14, 2017
Google Fit, the company’s health and fitness platform that launched in 2014 as an Apple Health competitor, is headed in the same direction as the rest of the tracking app industry: collecting more data on users and serving it back to them as personalized insights. Head of health and fitness apps for Google Play Mary Liz McCurdy spoke on a panel at SXSW this week about that trend.  "Now everyone...
By Mike Miliard March 10, 2017
DeepMind, the Google-owned artificial intelligence company, is developing a new technology similar to blockchain for secure tracking of patient health data. In a blog post, London-based DeepMind said its new Verifiable Data Audit project could be the first steps toward a "a service that could give mathematical assurance about what is happening with each individual piece of personal data, without...