Google Health Chief Outlines Multi-Pronged Plan to Improve Healthcare

February 16, 2020

// By Jim Samuel //

Jim-SamuelHow Google plans to use technology to improve patients’ lives around the world

As technology giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others forge ahead with plans to improve healthcare, many in the industry are wondering just what they plan to do and how they plan to do it.

David Feinberg, MD, vice president of Google Health and former president and CEO of Geisinger in Pennsylvania, discussed Google’s plans during an interview session at the 2020 StartUp Health Festival in San Francisco in January. The festival is an annual gathering of more than 2,000 healthcare innovators and startup founders.

Google Health was created about a year ago to bring together different product areas within Google into a single unit. Feinberg says he is the only product lead at Google who is not an engineer. “They needed somebody who knew healthcare,” he explains. “There was an understanding that this is not simply a technological fix like Gmail.”

David Feinberg, MD, vice president of Google Health (left), discusses Google Health’s plans with Howard Krein, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of Startup Health (right).

According to Feinberg, Google Health plans to use its search technology, its data analytics ability, and its artificial intelligence capabilities to improve healthcare on multiple fronts.

“This was an opportunity to really improve people’s lives around the world,” says Feinberg, a psychiatrist by training, adding that he took the job after Google assured him that patients who use Google services would “be treated as if they are our patients.”

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