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A new era begins at Google

December 9, 2019

Last week, the tech world saw a seismic shift with Sunder Pichai taking over as CEO for Alphabet, with oversight for the vast resources and the diverse portfolio of Google’s businesses. As a fellow first generation immigrant from India and as an alum of the same engineering school Sunder Pichai went to, it’s immensely reassuring that America remains the land of opportunity, and that the American Dream is alive and well.

Google has been trying hard to make a big impact in healthcare, hiring high profile executives such as Dr. David Feinberg, former CEO of Geisinger Health. However, the company has had limited success till date in healthcare – its foray into consumer health earlier in the decade was a failure (as was Microsoft’s). More recently, it has had to abandon some of its healthcare moonshots, such as the diabetes-sensing contact lens that was being developed at Verily.

Recent highly publicized partnership announcements by Google Cloud with Mayo Clinic and Ascension Health (which ran into some PR issues and blowback) may represent the best opportunities for Google in healthcare right now. Last week, Mayo Clinic announced the launch of the Mayo Clinic Initiative to drive its digital transformation, hiring industry veteran John Halamka to head the initiative and lead its partnership with Google (in case you missed it, John was a featured guest on my podcast a few months back). The appointment of a dedicated leader – one with a long track record as a technology innovator in healthcare delivery – for the partnership may be the vote of confidence that Google’s new CEO needs to remain invested in healthcare.

Digital transformation in healthcare: our picks for the week

Where Will Sundar Pichai Take Google?

Moonshots or a gentle earth landing? Where new Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai might take the company.

Halamka Leaving Beth Israel Deaconess for Mayo Clinic

Ambitious, game-changing initiative by Mayo Clinic to be led by John Halamka.

Why Google’s Move into Patient Information Is a Big Deal

Thoughtful piece that highlights the conflicting aims of different stakeholders in AI-enabled healthcare.

Amazon Transcribe Medical – Real-Time Automatic Speech Recognition for Healthcare Customers

Amazon launches voice recognition for clinicians that “can then be automatically fed to downstream applications such as EHR systems.” Powerful stuff.

GE Healthcare launches Edison developer program to boost AI adoption among providers

“AI organizing AI.” A new approach to help developers integrate with their platform and accelerate AI adoption.

Doctors and techies are clashing at digital health companies, and one start-up exec is seeking a fix

The ongoing culture clash between clinicians and technologists at digital health startups is a direct consequence of growth pressures.

Dexcom’s IT outage shows fabulous device maker floundering with patient communication

Digital health innovation is as much about reliable infrastructure as it is about innovation.

Your Health Data Isn’t as Safe as You Think

The Google-Ascension incident tells us, among other things, that laws around data privacy and protection need to be refreshed.

The latest from Damo Consulting

“Health begins where we live, work, play, pray.”

Damo Consulting announces inaugural Board of Advisors 

Damo Consulting is very pleased to welcome Ed Marx and John Glaser to our inaugural board of advisors.

The WITCH Monthly Monitor (November 2019)

Our monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare. It provides latest financial and market performance updates on WITCH companies along with other global IT consulting firms.

White paper: What health systems must do to accelerate digital transformation

Our latest white paper explores how health systems can accelerate digital transformation.

The WITCH Report: 2019 Mid-Year Review

A review of the financial and market performance of global technology consulting firms in healthcare.

Research Report: The current state of healthcare digital transformation

Our latest research report explores the current state of digital transformation in healthcare.


Why interoperability is cool again

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Data privacy in the spotlight

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The battle for data stewardship

January 20, 2020 This past week, patient data dominated the news cycles. First off, we had the ONC publish its 5-year IT plan planting a new