Verily - Google’s IoT and Big Data play for healthcare

Verily – Google’s IoT and Big Data play for healthcare

Uses Big Data and Internet of Things to improve healthcare outcomes

Google has changed the name of its healthcare company Google Life Sciences to Verily. The rebrand comes as the firm looks to use Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve healthcare outcomes.

Google Life Sciences emerged from Google X Labs earlier this year after the reshuffle of Google into Alphabet as a holding company that separated its search engine and associated companies into Google Inc. from companies such as Verily.

Verily marks Alphabet’s official entry into the field of using the Internet of Things to gain insight into health. Verily is an archaic English word meaning truth; the aim of the firm is the seek the truth, not only of what causes illness, but also what makes for good health.

To do this, the firm will look to collect data from sensors, fitness bands, smartwatches equipped with monitors and other internet of Things devices and crunch through this data using Google’s artificial intelligence resources to find emerging patterns that could lead to new treatments.

“There’s no user manual for a human being,” said a voice-over in a video introducing Verily. “A car has up to 400 sensors, you know the oil pressure. You know how much air pressure is in the tyres. But we don’t do that with people.”

Google has already carried out what it called a “Baseline Study” to find out what constitutes a healthy person in order to look for clues on deteriorating health of patients. It also developed smart contact lenses that looked for signs of Glaucoma.

“When Google[x] embarked on a project in 2012 to put computing inside a contact lens — an immensely challenging technical problem with an important application to health — we could not have imagined where it would lead us,” said the firm on its new website.

“As a life sciences team within Google[x], we were able to combine the best of our technology heritage with expertise from across many fields. Now, as an independent company, Verily is focused on using technology to better understand health, as well as prevent, detect, and manage disease.”

In an interview with Stat News, Verily CEO Andy Conrad said the name was aspirational.

“Only through the truth are we going to defeat Mother Nature,” Conrad said. The focus of the company would be to move from “reactive to proactive, from intervention to prevention.”

Eugene Borukhovich, VP Healthcare, European markets at SoftServe, told Internet of Business that he foresaw a future where we buy our healthcare (at least Level 1 Triage) like we buy iTunes songs on our mobile devices via Apple iCare.

This is the era of the perfect storm, with healthcare consumers driving the change and adopting these every day, taken-for-granted technologies into the archaic system we have now,” he said.