Quick Bit: A recent report from The Economist reveals that Google’s parent company Alphabet is spending billions to become a major player in the healthcare market. The company has reportedly made over 100 deals related to life sciences and health care in the last few years.

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In a report titled “Alphabet is spending billions to become a force in health care,” the Economist reports that the American healthcare market consumes around 17 percent of the country’s GDP, approximately $3.6 trillion a year. Five of the country’s biggest tech giants have spent more than $3 billion on healthcare bets in 2021 and may have invested in a number of undisclosed deals.
Amazon launched an online pharmacy and telemedicine service almost everywhere in the United States. Apple’s smartwatches continually add new health features, and Facebook (now known as Meta) offers a number of fitness-related apps through its Oculus VR division.

Jeff Bezos/Instagram

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

However, Google’s parent company Alphabet remains the tech firm that has pushed its healthcare efforts the most. Between 2019 and 2021, Alphabet’s venture capital divisions, Google Ventures and Gradient Ventures, and Capital G, have made almost 100 deals in the life sciences and healthcare industry.

The Economist writes:

So far this year, it has injected $1.7 billion into future health ideas, according to data provider, CB Insights, which, leaving its fellow tech giants, has spent nearly $100 million in the dust. Alphabet is the fifth-highest-ranking business in the Nature Index, which measures the impact of scientific papers in the life sciences, behind four giant drugmakers and 20 places ahead of Microsoft, the only other tech giant in the running. The company has hired former senior health regulators to help navigate America’s health care bureaucracy.

Alphabet’s approach to innovation–throwing a lot of money at a lot of projects–has worked well in few other businesses beyond its core search engine. This has given rise to clever products, from Gmail and Google Docs to the Android mobile operating system and Google Maps, that support people’s digital lives. Alphabet thinks that some of its health offerings will become central to their physical existence. Is this an accurate forecast?

Alphabet Health has dabbled in health since 2008, when Google introduced a service that allowed users to compile their health records in one place. That project was shut down in 2012, relaunched in 2018 as Google Health, which included Google’s other health ventures, and was scrapped again last year. Today Alphabet’s health adventures can be divided into four broad categories. These are in thick order of ambition: wearables, health records, health-related artificial intelligence (AI) and the ultimate challenge of increasing human longevity.

Read more at the Economist here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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