5 notes on Nest, one of Google's 'secretive' health moves

Nest, Google's home automation business, quietly acquired the Seattle-based health monitoring startup Senosis in summer 2017, CNBC reports.

Here are five things to know about Nest, and why it is keeping it digital health ambitions under the radar:

1. In late August 2017, GeekWire reported that Google bought Senosis, which has several apps that use smartphones to collect users' health data. These apps are capable of diagnosing conditions like pulmonary function and hemoglobin counts.

2. Records reviewed by CNBC show it was actually Nest that acquired the startup, which spun out of the University of Washington in Seattle. However, Nest told its team and Senosis that they couldn't mention Nest or publicize the sale.

3."It turns out Nest is much more secretive than the rest of Google or Alphabet," Senosis co-founder Shwetak Patel wrote to the vice president of University of Washington's innovation hub in June 2017. "They seem to be particularly sensitive in this situation since they don't want people to know they are getting into a whole new line of business, digital health, until they are ready to publicly announce."

4. Google's corporate counsel also directed those involved with the sale to use "Google" instead of "Nest" on outside forms and in internal discussions to prevent speculation, emails reviewed by CNBC show.

5. CNBC previously reported Nest was exploring a product line for to help seniors live independently longer.

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