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

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in