Bringing together talent, hardware, and health data, Google is making moves into healthcare.
On watch. Making its smartwatch official, Google’s long-rumored Pixel Watch will debut this May. Built on Google’s Wear OS software, it’ll sport Fitbit’s health-tracking capabilities, though both ecosystems will remain siloed.
Talent up. Google Health recently announced the hire of Bakul Patel, the FDA’s former digital health chief. Entering his new role, Patel wrote:
“The power of technology, when coupled with a unified digital health and regulatory approach, promises to transform people’s lives.”
Connecting the dots. Boosting its health and fitness ecosystem, Google linked with Samsung to launch Health Connect, a developer API syncing data into a single hub. Working in concert, the tech will give users a one-stop shop of valuable health and fitness data from across apps, from Flo to MyFitnessPal to FitBit.
This isn’t Google’s first rodeo. But the road has been rocky for the tech giant’s healthcare ambitions.
Last summer, after Google Health boss David Feinberg left the company, Google dissolved the division, redirecting hundreds more employees to other teams.
Complicating matters, Fitbit is currently facing a class-action lawsuit alleging 100+ cases of overheating and burn injuries, raising the question of a potential worldwide wearable recall.
Zooming out: All of Big Tech wants a piece of the $11.9T healthcare market. Now, the fight for your wrist is getting fierce.
- A cornerstone of its healthcare strategy, Apple’s Watch may be getting a glucose monitoring upgrade. Though, it has fallen short on blood pressure monitoring.
- Making inroads into health and fitness, Amazon debuted digital workouts and personalized meal planning, all while developing the Halo’s health-tracking abilities.
- As wearables look more and more like medical devices, WHOOP, Oura, and Withings are running clinical trials and courting the FDA for sign-offs.
Punchline: A renewed effort, Google is putting together the pieces to contend in the race for healthcare.