With many tech giants looking for openings to disrupt the healthcare industry, a recent survey of health professionals point to Amazon as the one tech player likely to have the biggest future impact on the healthcare sector. Yet it would foolish to discount the potential for Goggle becoming a disruptive force in healthcare in light of a series of recent high-profile investment, hiring and partnership initiatives.
Google’s parent Alphabet via its Verily Life Sciences unit has now invested $375 million in next-gen health insurer, Oscar Health (amounting to about a 10% interest) which will use the funding to jump into the Medicare Advantage market starting next year. Earlier investments included Clover Health, a healthcare technology company and Collective Health, an enterprise health insurance software and services company.
Given these moves, no one should be surprised to see Goggle make a play in the health insurance space and this was underscored when the company signaled its intention to hire a health plan executive. Importantly, the value potential for traditional health insurance companies is tied directly to care management, which, in turn, is largely dependent on data. And this is where access to Goggle Cloud storage and computing tools could become so indispensable.
Meantime, the latest well known healthcare executive hired by Alphabet’s is former Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove who was named executive adviser to the Google Cloud healthcare and life sciences team which, building on its data-processing expertise, is expected to develop products related to healthcare data and analytics as part of its push into the growing population health market.
Perhaps the quickest way for Google to have an immediate impact is by partnering with traditional healthcare players ranging from software vendors to health insurance companies where data management and analysis is so dependent on the cloud, Already, the National Institutes of Health is partnering on one of its biometric data initiatives with Google Cloud. Meantime, Verily is partnering with 3M to develop health population management solutions and is also working with Duke University and Stanford Medicine on a project to gather and analyze data from some 10,000 participants.