Verily Starts Planning for Life After Google

Alphabet’s life sciences division Verily is working to distance itself from Google technology as it plans for the next phase of its products and a possible future outside of its parent company, according to reporting from Insider.

The project known internally as Flywheel began in 2021 and involves transitioning Verily’s products away from Google’s internal cloud to a public version of the tech infrastructure.

Internal documents appear to reveal that an initial version of Verily’s updated technology stack is set to arrive by early next year.

  • Verily is aiming for independence. As the company matures, it is looking to diversify its product offerings into new areas such as telehealth, but potential partners have often needed reassurance that Verily’s data would not be shared with Google.
  • Flywheel could signal an IPO. Verily CEO Andy Conrad has previously mentioned a push towards an initial public offering, although the pandemic pushed back those plans. A current employee interviewed by Insider confirmed that an IPO is “the carrot Andy is always dangling in front of us.”
  • Verily’s recent moves support the theory. It raised $700m in late 2020 before acquiring clinical trial management system SignalPath in August to expand its commercial offerings. It also recently partnered with Mayo Clinic to develop a clinical decision support tool, all while bolstering its leadership team.

The Takeaway

When Google reorganized as Alphabet in 2015, the structure was designed to give subsidiaries more flexibility to expand away from the company’s core operation. Although no large companies have yet to be spun out, the Flywheel project makes Verily look like a strong contender to be the first one. Possibly as early as next year.

Verily Aims to Build GPS for Patient Care

Mayo Clinic and Verily, Alphabet’s life science division, recently announced a two-year strategic partnership to develop a clinical decision support (CDS) tool that caters to a patient’s individual needs. 

Although physicians generally do not love their EHR flashing advice at them, the collaboration aims to sidestep the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional CDS tools with AI-generated recommendations relevant to the patient in the room.

  • The Partnership – Mayo Clinic will provide curated clinical content and deidentified health record data while Verily will apply advanced analytics and user-centered design to deliver insights within existing point-of-care workflows.
  • The Roadmap – The tool will initially focus on cardiovascular and cardiometabolic conditions at Mayo Clinic, but will use open standards to enable integration with multiple EHRs for possible expansion to other use cases for Verily’s health system partners.

The Takeaway

While announcing the partnership, medical director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Digital Health Bradley Leibovich MD stated that he hopes the tool can be used as “a GPS for patient care.”

The companies cited the exponential growth in medical discovery and knowledge as making it  nearly impossible for caregivers to keep up with the latest advances in their fields, creating a need for a tool that offers clinical support. 

Verily and Mayo Clinic are betting that their combined expertise in clinical informatics and data science will be the solution to creating a patient-relevant CDS that clinicians actually want to use.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team