Google, which was assumed to be the only valid counter against Apple’s laser sharp pursuit of consumer health tech (devices and services), is apparently folding its hand — cutting back aggressively on the consumer health division, and routing that talent to FitBit and Google Cloud.
If you know the company, the behaviour is not new. Although it’s unclear what drove this decision, we’re guessing management realizes there’s no point to keep fighting a losing war as consumers get drawn to the Apple camp by promises of privacy, while here shareholders demand more financial discipline.
Meanwhile, the company’s enterprise pursuit of the Healthcare opportunity will continue strong, mostly with a broad suite of enterprise tools served via Google Cloud — shepherded by the mastermind Google Cloud boss Thomas Kurien.
Going forward — Google’s AI has made phenomenal strides in healthcare. A project with the NHS in the UK to detect diabetic retinopathy for example, is seeing respectable traction. Several other life sciences projects have been excellent too.
Big picture — $250 billion+ is spent each year on IT by global healthcare companies, nearly 25% of which is wasted due to inefficiencies. Perfect opportunity for tech giants to mint some profits.