After Google Health CEO David Feinberg moved to Cerner in August and the shutdown of Google Health, some experts took this as evidence that Google was abandoning healthcare development. However, Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer at Google, said the changes reflect a shift in focus, not a rejection of a direction that the search giant previously described as having great potential.
“We do not save on health, – said DeSalvo in an interview with Bloomberg. – I am now more busy with work than ever. And my team too. “ She described Google’s strategy as an attempt to integrate health research and approaches into its core products such as search and YouTube, rather than just launching new commercial services. “This work is not done in one department”DeSalvo said.
The organizational reshuffle was a response to the pandemic, she said, as Google added contact tracking, population mobility and other healthcare tools to its products. Google also bought fitness bracelet maker FitBit. And the company’s cloud division has taken proactive steps to capitalize on the shift of companies and people to telecommuting and learning.
DeSalvo leads the clinical division, which advises several Google divisions, including mapping, hardware development, and cloud services. She declined to disclose the number of employees on her team.