Google dissolves Google Health division as part of a major reorganization
Google is shutting down the dedicated Google Health division as part of a major reorganization. The news comes as Google health chief Dr. David Feinberg leaves the company and joins Cerner as its new president and CEO.
As first reported by Insider last week, Google Health will no longer function as a separate division. Projects and employees that formed the unit will be relocated to other Google teams (via The Verge). The change seems to be part of the new strategy that sees Google dropping a unified healthcare strategy and expanding its health efforts across a broader range of products, including Google Search, YouTube, Fitbit, and more.
The news was officially confirmed by Jeff Dean, the head of Google’s AI research and health division:
As we’ve broadened our work in health across Google (Search, Cloud, YouTube, Fitbit, …), we have decided to move some @GoogleHeath teams closer to product areas to help with execution while nurturing some earlier stage products and research efforts. https://t.co/v0qS1R453v
— Jeff Dean (@🏡) (@JeffDean) August 23, 2021
Set up in 2018, the Google Health division consisted of artificial intelligence research teams from Google Brain and DeepMind and health teams from Nest Labs.
As part of the reorganization, the Health AI group, which worked on projects like medical imaging, will now report to Yossi Matias, VP of Search and AI. Meanwhile, Google Health’s clinician team, which is developing tools for physicians to more easily search health records, will report directly to Jeff Dean.
“Google deeply believes in the power of technology to improve health and wellness and we have increased our health investments across the company. This has included developing projects within Google Health, launching and expanding health-related features on Search, Maps, and YouTube that reach billions of people, and welcoming Fitbit,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.