Google to tackle aging, illness with new company

Google branches out into healthcare, medical research with new company call Calico

Google is reaching out beyond search, Android, Maps and even computerized glasses. The Internet company is putting its considerable muscle behind healthcare with a particular focus on aging and the diseases that accompany it.

"OK ... so you're probably thinking wow!" wrote Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google, in a Google+ post. "That's a lot different from what Google does today. But as we explained in our first letter to shareholders, there's tremendous potential for technology more generally to improve people's lives. So don't be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses."

On Wednesday, Google announced a new company, dubbed Calico, that will focus on the somewhat amorphous subjects of health and well-being, though with a particular focus on aging and its related diseases.

Arthur D. Levinson, the chairman and CEO of Genentech and the current chairman of Apple, will be the CEO and a founding investor for Calico.

"For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a statement . "Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn't have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results."

In his Google+ post, Page said he's excited to tackle the issue of aging and its related illnesses.

"These issues affect us all -- from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families," he wrote. "And while this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people."

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, told Computerworld that he doesn't find healthcare or medical research to be too far out of Google's realm. The company just might have the money and muscle to make serious research inroads.

"Google is great at analyzing large amounts of data and so much of medical research, in many ways, is data analytics," Kerravala said. "They have the resources and they have the analytical capabilities. One of the things that always holds back medical research is resources and funding, of which, Google has plenty."

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said it makes sense for Google to dive into medical research. Google is all about gathering, analyzing and distributing information. Health care also is information based.

"Google seems to be able to maintain its main business, while dabbling elsewhere. It's called delegation," said Gottheil. "Google thinks if it can be done with intelligence, engineering and computer hardware, they can do it."

This article, Google to tackle aging, illness with new company, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about healthcare it in Computerworld's Healthcare IT Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Will our manners go the same way as texting when robotic servants take over?

Much of the talk in the industry is focused on the limited amount of time that screens have left in our lives.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Social purpose: Oxygen for your brand health vitals

If trust is the new currency, then we’re in deep trouble. Here's why.

Carolyn Butler-Madden

Founder and CEO, Sunday Lunch

Customer experience disruption: Healthcare faces a bitter pill

Over the past decade, disruptors such as Amazon, Apple and Australia’s Atlassian have delivered technology enhanced customer experiences, which for the most part, have improved customers’ lives and delivered unparalleled growth. Can they do the same for healthcare?

Alex Allwood

Principal, All Work Together

The advancement of AI will make most of human jobs obsolete in the coming 10 to 20 years. Protecting or try to save jobs will make the h...

vallab01

Aussie futurist: Personal AI will be a reality in five years

Read more

are you talking about bbc news here

frank

CMO interview: How BBC Worldwide's marketing lead builds brand purpose and growth

Read more

Toms is definitely my favourite shoe brand! Along with Aurélien. For this summer I bought two pairs of navy Toms espadrilles and a pair o...

Paul Erickson

​The shoe with a good soul: TOMS’ innovations for philanthropic engagement

Read more

I think this is the best article today about the salesforce latest platform. Thanks for taking your own time to discuss this topic, I fee...

Ramramky

Salesforce looks to democratise AI, IoT with latest platform play

Read more

I came across this recently when researching blockchain loyalty point projects. There are quite a few projects. Most are in development a...

Andrew @ EcomLoop

How cryptocurrency is set to change the customer loyalty program model

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in