Google has for years been honing and perfecting its healthcare arm, aptly titled Google Health. The team has undergone many changes over time, and now, its up a major revamp, which comes in the form of a major staff reorganization. The health division is currently seeing a significant downsizing, which is aimed at reducing the staff by as much as 20%.
But you don’t have to worry about all the people who are being asked to let go of Google Health, as the company isn’t firing anyone, and instead, is reassigning them to other teams throughout its prolific business. As of now, some 130 members have already been reassigned to other teams, including the one dealing with Search. Some have even been shifted to the new Fitbit unit, which the firm recently acquired for a whopping $2.1 billion. All in all, the head count at the Health division has already fallen to around 570, down from 700 at the start of this year.
Three Sub-Teams, Three Strategies
The news was first revealed by Insider, through sources inside Google. Another important change that’s coming to Health is an alteration in its industrial focus, which has been streamlined towards clinical and regulatory functions. Moreover, even inside the department, three separate teams have been set up, says a mail by Dr. David Feinberg, Head at Google Health.
One of these sub-groups will be focusing on clinical and related work, while developing Care Studio, the main product offering by Google Health, which centers around providing clinicians with the tools to subject the health records of patients to Google Search.
The product was in pilot phase, with a set-up having been launched at Ascension, which is based in St. Louis, before seeing an expansion a few months ago.
As for Team B, they will be working in close association with Health AI, and will be focused on coming up software tools and other tech to polish the screening and genomic analysis in the medical field. One of the prime goals for the group will be to further develop the firm’s diabetic neuropathy screening algorithm.
The third group, on the other hand, will be collaborating heavily with the clinical teams at Google Fit and Fitbit, and will work towards managing and complying with regulatory, equity, and related issues.
Fitbit Set to Grow
All three teams will continue to “build products for clinicians”, and “conduct research to improve care”. However, one can’t help but notice that the consumer focus seems to be missing from the reorganized structure. A dedicated consumer health team is nowhere to be found, and it raises the question of how exactly Google hopes to compete with the likes of Amazon and Apple.
However, at the same time, the company has been moving some of its senior-most officials to Fitbit, which might be hinting towards its desire to let the new unit grow, and take over the commercial offerings side.