Google plans to grow healthcare efforts under Alphabet

'This allows us more management scale as we can run things independently that aren’t very related.'
By Tom Sullivan
09:02 AM
Googleplex

Google divulged an interesting plot late Monday when it announced Alphabet.

Alphabet will be the parent company presiding over many distinct entities, of which Google is to be the largest initially. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be Alphabet CEO and president, respectively.

[See also: For clinicians, Google Glass isn't dead]

"Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren't very related," Page wrote on the company's blog.

Page pointed to life sciences projects, such as glucose-sensing contact lenses, and Calico, described as a company targeting health and illness, as examples. Both will be under Alphabet, as will Google Ventures and Google X.

Google X is the bed of many blue-sky projects: Google Glass started there, and the unit is also where Google is conducting the Baseline Study to better understand the human body, first announced in July 2014.

[See also: Google Glass startup draws $8M]

The search giant has been ratcheting up its financial investments into healthcare – which consumed more than a third of its total Google Ventures investments in 2014, according to Forbes. Google, in fact, was part of a deal $120 million funding deal for Editas Medicine to create technology capable of "editing" the human genome.

Page did not mention Google Glass, specifically, but it has gained purchase in healthcare and, in fact, a study published this week found that it could save lives in the emergency departments of hospitals.

Page also announced that as he and Brin step into Alphabet, Sundar Pichai will be the new CEO of Google.

"Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence," Page explained. "In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed."

[See also: Google Health shutdown spurs debate over PHR viability]