Thursday, September 19, 2013

Google Launches a New Healthcare Company, Calico

In case you have not heard Google is starting a healthcare company called California Life Company or Calico. This new company will be led by former Genentech CEO, Arthur Levinson and will focus on heath and expanding human life.  Levinson will also remain in his current roles as the Chairman of the Board of Director for both Genentech and Apple. 

For a company with a primary focus on search, advertising, and most recently mobile phone technology, this is certainly a step outside of their core business. In the press release from Google, Larry Page the cofounder and CEO of Google stated “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”  Beyond that Google has declined to provide any additional details on how the company will operate except it will be managed as a separate company.

Can Google solve the ultimate quest for longevity or at the very least extend the quality of life by a few years? Using Google’s expertise in technology and data analysis combined with the Arthur Levinson’s experience, I have to believe they have a chance to be successful. I am not alone in my opinion. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, believes they can be successful. In a released statement Cook said, “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn't have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results."

Google’s philosophy of “10x thinking” is certainly at play here and we can only being to imagine what they plan to do. Will they find a cure for cancer? Will they improve healthcare and treatment options by developing new technologies for predicting, diagnosing, and treating diseases based on our biological and environmental history? Any quest to improve our quality of life has to be admired. I wish them well on their new venture.

What are your thoughts on Google's new healthcare company? Do you think they will be successful or a failure?

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