Dr. David Feinberg moved from Geisinger to Google to reach 'a billion patients a day'

David Feinberg, MD, made waves in November 2018 when Google announced that he would be leaving his post as president and CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System become VP of Google Health. During a panel discussion at the Milken Institute's Global Conference on April 29, Dr. Feinberg finally explained his reasoning for the pivot.

According to a transcript of the conversation shared by STAT's Rebecca Robbins on Twitter, when asked what he has to offer the tech giant, and vice versa, Dr. Feinberg cited his obsession with "same-day access" to healthcare. He developed this passion at University of California Los Angeles Health (where he served on the faculty before eventually becoming president and CEO), then continued to cultivate it at Geisinger, even as the number of patients for whom he was responsible grew from several hundred as a clinic director at UCLA to Geisinger's 3 million.

"Then Google calls, and they're talking about a billion patients a day. And I'm like, 'I'm all in — I mean, if you allow me to treat them like they're my patients,'" Dr. Feinberg said. "Google, I think, has seven or eight products that have over a billion users a day…and they want to do the same in health."

He continued, "I want every person who goes to Google Search…or is getting their eyes read by one of our computers or whatever to be treated like they're my patient. I want the care to be safe, high-quality, low-cost, culturally sensitive."

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