Recently, there is news in the market that Google will dissolve its health division, because the head of Dr. David Feinberg left the company. Dr. Feinberg’s departure comes as he joins another company, Electronic medical records giant Cerner, announced Feinberg has joined the company as CEO and president. It can be said that Google has been dug a “corner”, and this move also shows that in terms of health development, Google’s progress is not smooth. The abolition of a department is helpless and the prospect of development is uncertain, so such a decision was made.
The Google Health division was established in 2018, and the plan is to centralize and unify its own health projects. But it didn’t go well. After three years of operation, it began to withdraw, indicating that there was a problem with the growth of the department. Of course, withdrawing some departments does not mean that Google is no longer concerned in this area. Google Health’s team of clinicians is now working on a tool that will make it easier for doctors to search health records. In addition, Google also focuses on medical imaging, health AI, and more.
Google said: “Google believes in the power of technology to improve health, and we have increased our investment in health across the company. This includes developing programs within Google Health, launching and enhancing dozens of reach across Search, Maps and YouTube. Health-related functions for billions of people.” In recent years, Google Health has built health sensors, developed tools to deal with the new crown epidemic, and ways to help patients find doctors.
Medical experts believe that Google’s struggles in health care are because the patient’s problem is primarily the overall experience rather than the technology itself. Google also said, “The Health Physician Assistant (PA) team is critical to a lot of work in this area, and now, Google Health is really a company-wide project with the common goal of helping people live healthier lives.” That is to say, users do not experience happiness or demand from Google’s products well. When no real experiential products come out or directly bring changes to users, there may be problems in the direction of development.
Interestingly, after Google’s health division was forced to shut down and disintegrate, we’re concerned that Apple’s health-care business, HealthHabit, will most likely be shut down after layoffs. Apple is reportedly scaling back its health division’s vital program, HealthHabit, an app where Apple employees can log fitness goals, manage high blood pressure, and chat with clinicians at AC Wellness. It is reported that more than 50 employees “spend a lot of time” on the app. Over the next few weeks, some of them will be fired with severance pay if they can’t find other positions within Apple.
In 2018, Apple took over the clinics from startup Crossover Health. HealthHabit was part of Apple Health, and the goal at the time was to use these clinics to experiment with new medical services, and the HealthHabit app was designed to turn some of the clinic-related research into products. As we all know, Apple has invested a lot in wearable devices, and Apple Watch has also brought great returns to it. Apple hopes that more big health elements can be integrated into Apple Watch, but obviously, The continuation of this technology will take time.
With the continuous development of technology, the investment of technology companies in the big health industry has gradually become more and more popular, especially the emergence of auxiliary wearable devices such as health bracelets, which has accelerated the process of this evolution. In addition, the continuous progress of AI technology has also increased the investment and preparation of technology companies to participate in technical research. For example, Apple provides some medical and health detection methods for Apple Watch. Apple adds a large number of health functions to the watch, which can detect some problems on the user in real time, including heart rate, blood pressure, electrocardiogram and so on. As we all know, Apple has been trying to enter the medical field, but perhaps because of the large cross-industry and more approvals involved in the medical and health field, Apple’s progress in this regard is not very fast. Of course, there are also differences between Apple’s continuing corporate culture of high secrecy about projects and the medical field’s tradition of needing dialogue and open clinical research, and the difficulty of advancing medical projects is not smooth.
In addition, we also pay attention to some Internet giants, including mobile phone manufacturers, which are beginning to put more perspectives into the medical equipment market. It is well known that traditional medical equipment has relatively poor operability and poor user experience. However, in the new consumption era, the advantage of consumer brands is that they are user-centric and focus on user experience. From an industry perspective, the life and health industry, including drug and medical device developers, hospitals, government regulators, and insurance companies, is relatively conservative. The entry of these cross-border players will bring ideas from other industries. Through competition, the industry level will be improved, and consumer brands will enter medical care, which will bring consumers a better experience. Moreover, when more capital pours into this track, it will undoubtedly promote the development of the entire industry.
Of course, wearable medicine involves a variety of interdisciplinary subjects, such as medicine, biomedical engineering, semiconductors, materials, artificial intelligence, etc. The demand for talents in these fields is also very urgent. Undoubtedly, wearable medical devices have great application potential in the medical and health field. With the development of technology, more and more application scenarios will be implemented. The boundary between low-risk medical devices and consumer products will gradually blur. With the support of technological progress, more consumer health products will appear, which will bring people a different experience. In fact, medical + AI is one of the most concerned areas of artificial intelligence, which assists doctors to achieve more efficient, more accurate and earlier diagnosis in different scenarios. Some hospitals have introduced AI-assisted diagnosis application scenarios, such as the screening of image data and pre-screening, which are areas where AI is very good.