Google in the news: 6 recent healthcare moves

From continuing advancements to its health projects, to expanding its investments into digital health startups, here are six healthcare moves from Google as reported by Becker's Hospital Review in April:

  1. In a company video April 1, Google announced it is advancing five health projects: A wearable device that can recreate the same type of machine learning analysis that occurs within labs, its Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources software development kit to help healthcare providers run Android apps offline by storing and processing data locally without connectivity, a study showing how its Fitbit algorithm analyzes heart rate data passively, a Youtube campaign aimed at combating health misinformation and its partnership with Meditech.

  2. Google posted 10 open positions related to its health business.

  3. GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, led a $35 million series A funding round for a digital health pharmaceutical company Waltz Health. Waltz Health, created by former OptumRx CEO Mark Thierer, is developing software to intervene at each step in the pharmaceutical supply chain to create the incentives necessary for lower drug prices.

  4. A group of researchers found that searches for COVID-19 symptoms, through Google's search engine, were correlated with and preceding COVID-19 cases. Meaning that Google search terms may be correlated with COVID-19 cases and could be used to anticipate waves of infection.

  5. On April 28, Google announced that it would allow users to put blocks on targeted ads for some sensitive health issues. Users will now be able to block ads regarding pregnancy and weight-loss.

  6. Google has become the No. 1 viewed site for healthcare consumers, as improvements to its search engine allowed it to become a more valuable asset to healthcare consumers. 

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