“The Happy Marriage of Health and Tech”
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Physicians leading the healthcare vertical in Big Tech companies are embracing the opportunity to leverage technology to solve healthcare’s biggest challenges.
It’s always interesting to see who’s included in Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” and how the list changes over time.
- In 2019, for example, Dr. Atul Gawande, CEO of Haven, the joint venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase, was included in the rankings. By 2021, Haven had been disbanded. Gawande, a surgeon, was recently appointed assistant administrator for global health at USAID.
- In 2020, Dr. David Feinberg, then vice president of Google Health, was on the influencer list. In 2021, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, recruited to Google by Feinberg in 2019, is in the list as chief health officer at Google. Feinberg is in a new role as CEO of Cerner.
Physician leaders from some of the Big Tech companies represented in the 2021 list — Verily Life Sciences (an Alphabet company), Microsoft, Google Health — share some commonalities. Rather than taking over, they want to come alongside healthcare and partner in meaningful ways. They want technology to make things easier for consumers as well as providers.
To learn more about these physicians-turned-tech-leaders and their aspirations, we listened to what they said during panel discussions and fireside chats at HLTH 2021:
- Vivian Lee, president of health platforms at Verily Life Sciences
- David Rhew, chief medical officer and vice president of healthcare at Microsoft
- Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer at Google
What is their vision for the future? The title of a HLTH 2021 session featuring Dr. Lee sums it up succinctly: “The Happy Marriage of Health and Tech.”
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