January 14, 2021
Fourteen-and-a-half months later, Google has finally completed its acquisition of health wearables company Fitbit. The news was announced this morning in complementary statements from Fitbit cofounder and (now previous) CEO James Park and Rick Osterloh, Google's SVP of devices and services.
"This is just the beginning because becoming part of the Google family means we can do even more to inspire...
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December 23, 2020
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Tuesday rejected an undertaking proposed by Google to address competition concerns over its planned acquisition of Fitbit.
The ACCC in June released a list of issues it had with the merger that included concerns that Google would be given too much access to people’s data, as well as decreasing competition in the wearables market.
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December 22, 2020
Considering the size and scope of Alphabet, it should be little surprise that the company and its subsidiaries (Google, Google Cloud and Verily, to name a few) have become deeply ingrained in the healthcare ecosystem over the last several years.
The tech giant maintained the momentum in 2020 with efforts focused on artificial intelligence, data flow and digital clinical research – and also sought...
December 17, 2020
Following months of regulatory investigation, the European Commission has officially signed off on Google's $2.1 billion purchase of health-wearable-maker Fitbit. Still, the go-ahead is contingent on a handful of commitments from the tech company that focus on its competitive practices across advertising, digital health APIs and smart device interoperability.
"We can approve the proposed...
December 10, 2020
Now that several vaccines have come out with promising results, vaccine misinformation is also growing. Tech giant Google is now zeroing in on this potential issue by implementing new strategies to coping with misinformation, according to a new blog post.
Users in the U.K. will now be able to use a new search feature on the platform in order to look up COVID-19 vaccine information, as well as...
December 9, 2020
In a bid to improve clinical research participation and engagement, the Google Health team announced this morning the launch of a new Android app that streamlines study recruitment for consumers and shows them how survey and sensor data are being employed for health research.
Off the bat, the Google Health Studies app allows users to view a list of open studies and review the inclusion criteria...
December 2, 2020
Google Health has teamed up with the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to pilot an online tool that helps patients build a visit plan for their upcoming healthcare visit. The project was detailed in a Google blog post published yesterday, but subsequently removed by the tech company until it was republished this afternoon with no substantial changes.
So far only available "to...
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December 1, 2020
Amnesty International is urging the E.U. Commission to halt the much publicized Fitbit-Google merger unless the companies can demonstrate consideration of human rights risks associated with data and surveillance, and the implementation of data safeguards.
In November of 2019, news broke that Google was set to acquire Fitbit for roughly $2.1 billion. However, the merger is yet to be greenlighted ...
November 11, 2020
Google Cloud pulled back the curtain yesterday on two artificial intelligence tools designed to help healthcare and life science organizations scan and analyze large volumes of unstructured text, the Healthcare Natural Language API and AutoML Entity Extraction for Healthcare.
The first of these two offerings looks to automatically extract common trends or other insights from medical records notes...
October 22, 2020
Searching for outbreaks. The long and sometimes muddled tradition of predicting outbreak hot spots by analyzing search engine activity has continued into the COVID-19 era, with Mayo Clinic researchers publishing new findings that suggest strong correlations between certain keywords and case reports. In reviewing data from Jan. 22 to April 6, "face mask," "Lysol" and "COVID stimulus check" had the...