Google dismantling health division as chief departs for Cerner

Hannah Mitchell -

Google is dissolving its health division as its chief, David Feinberg, MD, departs for Cerner, according to an Aug. 20 Insider report.

Five things to know:

  1. As Dr. Feinberg is set to leave Google on Sept. 1, it's splitting its health projects and teams across several different parts of the company, according to an Aug. 19 internal memo.

  2. Jeff Dean, the head of Google's research division, sent the memo to employees and said Google Health would no longer function as a unified unit.

  3. Google's CMO, Karen DeSalvo, MD, who leads its clinical initiatives, will now report to the chief legal officer. Google Health's clinician team, which is building an EHR tool, will now report directly to Mr. Dean and its artificial intelligence team, which is working on medical imaging, will report to Google's search and AI team.

  4. "Google deeply believes in the power of technology to improve health and wellness and we have increased our health investments across the company," a Google spokesperson told Insider. "This has included developing projects within Google Health, launching and expanding health-related features on Search, Maps and YouTube that reach billions of people, and welcoming Fitbit."

  5. Google Health was formed in 2018 as a way to organize its health initiatives. The company brought in Dr. Feinberg to lead the division while he was serving as the CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health.

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